ECCD operations in the second experimental campaign at W7-X
Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics Wendelsteinstr. 1 17491 Greifswald Germany
Published online: 25 March 2019
In the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, up to 7MW of power are delivered to the plasma by an electron cyclotron resonance heating system consisting of ten 140 GHz gyrotrons .
Due to the flexible front steering mirror of each beam line, the power deposition can be varied over the whole plasma radius and is optionally combinable with additional current drive. This flexibility, together with small toroidal currents in the stellarator, makes W7-X a perfect testbed for electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) experiments, which have been successfully accomplished during the first two experimental campaigns OP1.1 and OP1.2a.
Long discharges (lasting up to 30s) have been performed in OP1.2a, thus allowing the study of the current drive time evolution and the possibility to compensate the bootstrap current.
ECCD efficiency has been studied using different power deposition profiles combined with a variation of the injection angles in relation to the magnetic field.
During ECCD experiments, saw-tooth-like oscillations have been observed. Depending on the driven current density, ECCD can significantly modify the rotational transform (iota) profile, which can locally reach low order rational, thus triggering plasma instabilities.
Different current density profiles have been tested, in order to try to understand the main trigger parameter for the instabilities. In particular, effects caused by current density gradient have been investigated producing both co- and counter-current drive at different radial positions: the total current drive is negligible, but a strong current gradient arises by driving currents in opposite directions.
In this work an overview of ECCD operations in OP1.2a is given and first results, comparing different diagnostics, are presented. An initial 1-D model, coupled with the ray tracer TRAVIS, is developed, in order to have an estimation of current diffusion times and the radial position where a low order rational crosses the disturbed iota profile.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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