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Title: Nonlinear simulations of beam-driven Compressional Alfvén Eigenmodes in NSTX
Contributors: Belova, E.V.
Gorelenkov, N.N.
Crocker, N.A.
Lestz, J.B.
Fredrickson, E.D.
Tang, S.
Tritz, K.
U. S. Department of Energy contract number DE-AC02-09CH11466
Keywords: NSTX
Numerical simulations
Compressional Alfven Eigenmodes
Issue Date: Apr-2017
Publisher: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University
Related Publication: Physics of Plasmas vol. 24 p. 042505 (April 2017)
Abstract: Results of 3D nonlinear simulations of neutral-beam-driven compressional Alfven eigenmodes (CAEs) in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) are presented. Hybrid MHD-particle simulations for the H-mode NSTX discharge (shot 141398) using the HYM code show unstable CAE modes for a range of toroidal mode numbers, n=4-9, and frequencies below the ion cyclotron frequency. It is found that the essential feature of CAEs is their coupling to kinetic Alfven wave (KAW) that occurs on the high-field side at the Alfven resonance location. High-frequency Alfven eigenmodes are frequently observed in beam-heated NSTX plasmas, and have been linked to flattening of the electron temperature profiles at high beam power. Coupling between CAE and KAW suggests an energy channeling mechanism to explain these observations, in which beam-driven CAEs dissipate their energy at the resonance location, therefore significantly modifying the energy deposition profile. Nonlinear simulations demonstrate that CAEs can channel the energy of the beam ions from the injection region near the magnetic axis to the location of the resonant mode conversion at the edge of the beam density profile. A set of nonlinear simulations show that the CAE instability saturates due to nonlinear particle trapping, and a large fraction of beam energy can be transferred to several unstable CAEs of relatively large amplitudes and absorbed at the resonant location. Absorption rate shows a strong scaling with the beam power.
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