Axisymmetric oscillations at L-H transitions in JET: M-mode

L to H transition studies at JET have revealed an n = 0, m = 1 magnetic oscillation starting immediately at the L to H transition (called M-mode for brevity). While the magnetic oscillation is present a weak ELM-less H-mode regime is obtained, with a clear increase of density and a weak electron temperature pedestal. It is an intermediate state between L and H-mode. In ICRH heated plasmas or low density NBI plasmas the magnetic mode and the pedestal can remain steady (with small oscillations) for the duration of the heating phase, of order 10 s or more. The axisymmetric magnetic oscillation has period similar to 0.5-2 ms, and poloidal mode number m = 1: it looks like a pedestal localised up/down oscillation, although it is clearly a natural oscillation of the plasma, not driven by the position control system. Electron cyclotron emission, interferometry, reflectometry and fast Li beam measurements locate the mode in the pedestal region. Da, fast infrared camera and Langmuir probe measurements show that the mode modulates heat and particle fluxes to the target. The mode frequency appears to scale with the poloidal Alfven velocity, and not with sound speed (i.e. it is not a geodesic acoustic mode). A heuristic model is proposed for the frequency scaling of the mode. We discuss the relationship between the M-mode and other related observations near the L-H transition.

Published in:
Nuclear Fusion, 57, 2, 022021
Bristol, Iop Publishing Ltd

 Record created 2017-01-24, last modified 2018-12-03

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