Recent progress of RF-dominated experiments on EAST
Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 23 October 2017
The research of EAST program is mostly focused on the development of high performance steady state scenario with ITER-like poloidal configuration and RF-dominated heating schemes. With the enhanced ITER-relevant auxiliary heating and current drive systems, the plasma profile control by coupling/integration of various combinations has been investigated, including lower hybrid current drive (LHCD), electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) and ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH). The 12 MW ICRH system has been installed on EAST. Heating and confinement studies using the Hydrogen Minority Heating scheme have been investigated. One of the importance challenges for EAST is coupling higher power into the core plasma, experiments including changing plasma position, electron density, local gas puffing and antenna phasing scanning were performed to improve ICRF coupling efficiency on EAST. Results show that local gas injection and reducing the k|| can improve the coupling efficiency directly. By means of the 4.6 GHz and 2.45 GHz LHCD systems, H-mode can be obtained and sustained at relatively high density, even up to ne ∼ 4.5 × 1019 m-3, where a current drive effect is still observed. Meanwhile, effect of source frequency (2.45GHz and 4.6GHz) on LHCD characteristic has been studied on EAST, showing that higher frequency improves penetration of the coupled LH (lower hybrid) power into the plasma core and leads to a better effect on plasma characteristics. Studies demonstrate the role of parasitic effects of edge plasma in LHCD and the mitigation by increasing source frequency. Experiments of effect of LH spectrum and plasma density on plasma characteristics are performed, suggesting the possibility of plasma control for high performance. The development of a 4MW ECRH system is in progress for the purpose of plasma heating and MHD control. The built ECRH system with 1MW source power has been successfully put into use on EAST in 2015. H-mode discharges with L-H transition triggered by ECRH injection were obtained and its effects on the electron temperature, particle confinement and the core MHD stabilities were observed. By further exploring and optimizing the RF combination for the sole RF heating and current drive regime, fully non-inductive H-mode discharges with Vloop∼0V has progressed steadily in the 2016 campaign. The overview of the significant progress of RF dominated experiments is presented in this paper.
© The authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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