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Radio-Frequency Current Drive in DIII-D

C. C. Petty

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 48 / Number 2 / Pages 1159-1169

October 2005

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Two methods of radio-frequency (rf) current drive that are well suited to controlling and sustaining the current profile in burning plasma experiments have been studied in the DIII-D tokamak. Fast-wave current drive (FWCD) gave centrally peaked current densities that increased linearly with central electron temperature. While high harmonic absorption of the fast waves on energetic beam ions could reduce the available power for current drive, FWCD figures of merit as high as FW = 0.5 × 1019 A/m2W were still achieved. Electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) was shown to be localized to the region of power deposition, with a current drive efficiency that decreased as the magnetic well depth increased. The detrimental effect of the magnetic well could be mitigated by raising the electron beta. ECCD figures of merit as high as EC = 0.5 × 1019 A/m2W were measured for central deposition. The experimental FWCD and ECCD were both extensively tested against theoretical models and were found to be in excellent agreement. Validation of these predictive models of rf current drive aids in scenario development for next-step tokamaks.

 
 
 
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