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ASTRA Modeling of Electron Cyclotron Heating in the Helically Symmetric Experiment

Joseph N. Talmadge, Konstantin M. Likin, Ali El-Sayed Ali Abdou, Abdulgader F. Almagri, David T. Anderson, F. Simon B. Anderson, John M. Canik, Chuanbao Deng, Stefan P. Gerhardt, Kan Zhai

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 46 / Number 2 / September 2004 / Pages 255-261

Technical Papers / Stellarators /

Thomson scattering and diamagnetic loop measurements in a hot electron plasma in the Helically Symmetric Experiment (HSX) indicate that the central electron temperature and stored energy increase linearly with power. Experimentally it is found that the central electron temperature is roughly independent of plasma density. The ASTRA code is used to model electron cyclotron heating for a magnetic configuration that is quasi-symmetric as well as for a configuration in which the symmetry is broken. The experimental results are consistent with an anomalous thermal conductivity that scales inversely with the density. However, the experimental scaling of the stored energy against density is not usually in agreement with the model. From the measured X-ray flux and the high absorbed power, as well as from the calculated low single-pass absorption efficiency, it is concluded that at low densities, a nonthermal electron population accounts for a significant fraction of the stored energy. With the ASTRA code, it is also possible to model under what conditions the central electron temperature in the quasi-symmetric configuration will be measurably greater than the temperature in the nonsymmetric configuration. These calculations depend greatly on the radial electric field of the nonsymmetric plasma but suggest that at somewhat higher density and higher power than achieved to date, differences in the central electron temperature may be observed.

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