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A Doppler Coherence Imaging Diagnostic for the Mega-Amp Spherical Tokamak

SILBURN, SCOTT,ALAN (2014) A Doppler Coherence Imaging Diagnostic for the Mega-Amp Spherical Tokamak. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Developing a plasma exhaust solution suitable for future high power tokamaks is one of the major challenges facing the development of magnetic confinement fusion as a terrestrial energy source. In order to improve our understanding of the relevant physics, high quality experimental measurements of plasma dynamics in the scrape-off-layer (SOL) and divertor plasma regions are required. This thesis is concerned with the development of diagnostic instrumentation for measuring exhaust plasma flow: an important phenomenon with implications for the control of exhaust particles and heat as well as unwanted impurities.

Coherence imaging spectroscopy (CIS) is a relatively new diagnostic technique which can be used to obtain time resolved 2D imaging of flows using the Doppler shifts of visible ion emission lines. The technique makes use of an imaging polarization interferometer and is based on the concept of Fourier transform spectroscopy. The principle advantages of this over other flow measurement techniques are the very large amount of spatial information collected, and the simple relationship between the measured quantities and spatially varying flows in the plasma.

This thesis presents the development of, and first results from, a CIS ion flow diagnostic for the UK's Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST). The diagnostic can image flows of intrinsic C II, C III and He II impurity ions over fields of view between 10 - 45 degrees, at frame rates between 50Hz - 1kHz and with flow resolution typically around 1km/s (compared with measured flows of typically 5 - 30km/s). Spatial resolution is better than ~4.5 cm over a 1.4 x 1.4m area of the plasma cross-section.

After reviewing the principles and theory of the coherence imaging technique, the design of a coherence imaging flow diagnostic for MAST is presented in detail. Results of careful laboratory characterization and calibration of the instrument are presented, and the instrument performance is compared to the design calculations.

The diagnostic was used successfully for flow measurements on MAST during an experimental campaign in May - September 2013. On-plasma validation of the instrument performance is presented, as well as examples of novel flow observations made with the diagnostic. These include field-aligned flow structures associated with high field side gas fuelling of the plasma, and the first measurements of spatial flow structure in the divertor associated with the application of resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs). Possible future improvements to the instrument design and extensions of the present work are suggested.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Fusion; Tokamak; Plasma Diagnostics; Coherence Imaging; Doppler spectroscopy; Ion flow
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Mar 2015 10:04

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