The ASDEX Upgrade Program Targeting Gaps to Fusion Energy

Rudolf Neu, Volodymyr Bobkov, Alexander Bock, Matthias Bernert, Marc Beurskens, Albrecht Herrmann, Arne Kallenbach, Peter Thomas Lang, Jean Marie Noterdaeme, Gabriella Pautasso, Matthias Reich, Josef Schweinzer, Jörg Stober, Wolfgang Suttrop, Hartmut Zohm, Andrew Kirk

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2 Scopus citations


Recent experiments in ASDEX Upgrade aimed at improving the physics base for ITER and DEMO to prepare operation and aid the design. In order to increase its exhaust capabilities and operational flexibility, a new bulk W divertor as well as an adjustable cryopump had been installed prior to the 2014 campaign. In experiments with high-field-side pellet injection, central electron densities twice as high as the Greenwald density limit could be achieved without strongly increasing the pedestal density and deleterious effect on confinement. Due to its large installed heating power, a large normalized heat flux Psep/R = 10 MWm-1 has been reached, representing two-thirds of the ITER value, under partially detached conditions with a peak target heat flux well below 10 MWm-2. The divertor load could be further reduced by increasing the core radiation, still keeping the confinement in the range of H98y2 ≈ 1. Suppression of edge-localized modes (ELMs) at low collisionality has been observed in a narrow spectral window in contrast to earlier results at high densities. The ITER Q = 10 baseline scenario has been investigated, matching as close as possible the triangularity, the plasma beta, q95, and the distance to the L-H threshold. It turned out that the ELM frequency is low and consequently the energy ejected by a single ELM is very high and ELM mitigation appears to be difficult. As a possible alternative, a scenario has been developed achieving a similar performance at a lower plasma current (and consequently higher q95). Experiments using electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) with feedback-controlled deposition have allowed successfully testing several control strategies for ITER, including automated control of (3, 2) and (2, 1) neoclassical tearing modes during a single discharge. Concerning advanced scenarios, experiments with central ctr-ECCD have been performed in order to modify the q-profile. A strong reversal of the q-profile could be stationarily achieved and an internal transport barrier could be triggered. In disruption mitigation studies with massive gas injection (MGI), a runaway electron beam could be provoked and mitigated by a second MGI. Ongoing enhancements aim at strengthening the power supplies in order to allow full use of the installed heating power, the exchange of two ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH) antennas to reduce the W influx during ICRH, and the upgrading of the electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) system to 7-8 MW for 10 s.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7476881
Pages (from-to)1472-1480
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Disruptions
  • plasma scenarios
  • power exhaust
  • tokamak


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