Journal article

Characterization of density fluctuations during ELMs in the DIII-D tokamak

Bursts of turbulence associated with ELMs have been studied systematically in DIII-D with a multichannel phase contrast imaging (PCI) diagnostic, which is sensitive to the long poloidal wavelength components of the density fluctuations in the outer edge of the tokamak. A comparison of the temporal dynamics of the turbulence with the signature D-alpha signal from the divertor has revealed systematic differences between type I and type III ELMs: even though precursor fluctuations are sometimes seen before type I ELMs, the PCI signal level remains high until the peak in the D-alpha signal: by contrast, in type III ELMs the fluctuation burst precedes the D-alpha peak by 0.4-0.6 ms. Type I ELMs can generate 'echoes', i.e. secondary bursts. in the scrape-off layer, Coherent modes are observed during type III ELMs only. The radial and temporal correlation structures and the spectral properties of the turbulence during the transient ELM phase have been reconstructed by averaging over multiple ELMs. in order to improve the statistical accuracy. ELM turbulence is found to share many properties with L mode turbulence, including the main qualitative features of radial wavenumber and frequency spectra and radial dispersion relations. However, features unique to ELM turbulence are also identified.

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