On the relation between non-exponential scrape off layer profiles and the dynamics of filaments
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016
A theoretical framework is developed to clarify the relation between the profiles of density and temperature in the scrape off layer (SOL) with the fluctuations (filaments) that generate them. The framework is based on the dynamics of independent filaments and on their statistical behaviour and can be used to rigorously understand the mechanisms that lead to the non-exponential nature of the radial SOL profiles as well as the increase of the relative fluctuation amplitude in the far SOL. Several models for the dynamics of the filaments, which can be applied to the framework, are derived and discussed for the purpose of identifying how different assumptions lead to the emergence of features in the profiles. It is found that multiple alternative models can explain the observations, thus motivating more stringent and focused experimental analysis. In particular, radially accelerating filaments, less efficient parallel exhaust and also a statistical distribution of the velocity of the filaments can all contribute to induce flatter profiles in the far SOL. A quite general result is the resiliency of the non-exponential nature of the profiles. At the same time, several of the models discussed can also capture the increase of the relative fluctuation amplitude observed in the far SOL. It is also shown that several scenarios are compatible with the broadening of the SOL, which could be caused by charge exchange interactions with neutral particles or by a significant radial acceleration of the filaments.