Journal article

Experiments on magneto-hydrodynamics instabilities with ECH/ECCD in FTU using a minimal real-time control system

Experiments on real time control of magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities using injection of electron cyclotron waves (ECW) are being performed with a control system based on only three real time key items: an equilibrium estimator based on a statistical regression, a MHD instability marker (SVDH) using a three-dimensional array of pick-up coils and a fast ECW launcher able to poloidally steer the EC absorption volume with dρ/dt = 0.1/30 ms maximum radial speed. The MHD instability, usually a tearing mode with poloidal mode number m and toroidal mode number n such that m/n = 2/1 or 3/2 is deliberately induced either by neon gas injection or by a density ramp hitting the density limit. No diagnostics providing the radial localization of the instabilities have been used. The sensitivity of the used MHD marker allows to close the control loop solely on the effect of the actuator's action with little elaboration. The nature of the instability triggering mechanism in these plasma prevents that the stabilization lasts longer than the ECW pulse. However when the ECW power is switched on, the instability amplitude shows a marked sensitivity to the position of the absorption volume with an increase or decrease of its growth rate. Moreover the suppression of the dominant mode by ECRH performed at high plasma density even at relatively low power level facilitates the development of a secondary mode. This minimized set of control tools aim to explore some of the difficulties which can be expected in a fusion reactor where reduced diagnostic capabilities and reduced actuator flexibility can be expected. © 2015 EURATOM.


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