Tokamak control design relies on an accurate linear model of the plasma response, which can often dominate the local field variations in regions under active feedback control. For example, when fluxes at selected points on the plasma boundary are regulated in DIII-D, the plasma response to a change in a coil current gives rise to a flux change which can be larger than and opposite to the flux change caused by the coil alone.

In the past, rigid plasma models have been used for linear stability and shape control design. In a rigid model, the plasma current profile is considered fixed and moves rigidly in response to control coils to maintain radial and vertical force balance. In a nonrigid model, however, changes in the plasma shape and current profile are taken into account. Such models are expected to be important for future advanced tokamak control design. The present work describes development of a nonrigid plasma response model for high-accuracy multivariable control design and provides comparisons of model predictions against DIII-D experimental data. The linear perturbed plasma response model is calculated rapidly from an existing equilibrium solution.