Momentum-space-resolved measurements using oblique electron cyclotron emission for the validation of the quasi-linear theory of electron cyclotron current drive

S. S. Denk, R. Fischer, E. Westerhof, T. Luda Di Cortemiglia, J. Hobirk, O. Maj, E. Poli, S. K. Nielsen, J. Rasmussen, M. Stejner, J. Stober, U. Stroth, W. Suttrop, M. Willensdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) can drive large current densities through electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD). ECCD is expected to be crucial for high-performance plasmas in future fusion reactors like ITER and DEMO, making the current drive efficiency of ECCD a critical design parameter for future reactors. In present-day devices, good agreement between measured and predicted current drive efficiency has been found. However, to ensure the reliability in future machines, a direct validation of the electron momentum distribution function is needed. As a first step towards this goal, we present in this paper oblique electron cyclotron emission (ECE) measurements of a low-density plasma in the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak. Two oblique ECE diagnostics are used to allow the simultaneous measurements of electrons streaming co- and counter-directionally with the plasma current. Predictions for the distribution function are computed with the bounce-averaged Fokker-Planck code RELAX.9 To allow direct comparison with the measurements, synthetic radiation temperatures are computed with the code ECRad.10 Good agreement is found if radial transport occurring predominantly at low electron energies is included. We demonstrate that oblique ECE diagnostics measure the electron distribution function directly at the ECRH deposition site in phase space. Furthermore, they are sensitive to the abundance of pitch-angle scattered electrons that reduce the ECCD efficiency. Limitations and uncertainties of the measurements and the modeling are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015003
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • electron cyclotron current drive
  • electron cyclotron emission
  • non-thermal electron velocity distribution

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