Non-inductive plasma current start-up by EC and RF power was carried out on the TST-2 device. Low frequency RF (21 MHz) sustainment was demonstrated, and the obtained high βp spherical tokamak configuration has similar equilibrium values as the EC (2.45 GHz) sustained plasma. Equilibrium analysis revealed detailed information on three discharge phases: (i) in the initial current formation phase, the plasma current increases with the stored energy, and the current is in the same order as that predicted by theory. (ii) In the current jump phase, the current density profile, which is peaked near the outboard boundary, is not deformed but increases slowly and the initial closed flux surface appears when the current reaches a maximum. (iii) In the current sustained phase, equilibrium is characterized by the hollowness of the current density profile, and it determines the fraction of the current inside the last closed flux surface to the total current. Both EC and RF injections show a similar equilibrium. While MHD instabilities often terminate the RF sustained plasma, no such phenomenon was observed in the EC sustained plasma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics