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NCSX Research Plan Revisited. M.C. Zarnstorff NCSX Physics Meeting 16 October 2003. Motivation. Several things have changed since the CDR (when we last discussed the research plan as a group) Scope changes in MIE Project initial plasma and ebeam mapping at room temperature

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ncsx research plan revisited

NCSX Research PlanRevisited

M.C. Zarnstorff

NCSX Physics Meeting

16 October 2003



  • Several things have changed since the CDR
  • (when we last discussed the research plan as a group)
  • Scope changes in MIE Project
    • initial plasma and ebeam mapping at room temperature
    • one NB line prepared
    • fewer diagnostics installed
  • Experience on a high-beta stellarator with current: W7AS
  • Better understanding of stellarator device operation
    • importance of separating current from heating
    • importance of heating

NCSX Research Mission

Acquire the physics data needed to assess the attractiveness of

compact stellarators; advance understanding of 3D fusion science.

(FESAC-99 Goal)


  • Pressure limits and limiting mechanisms in a low-A current carrying stellarator
  • Effect of 3D magnetic fields on disruptions
  • Reduction of neoclassical transport by quasi-axisymmetric design.
  • Confinement scaling; reduction of turbulent transport by flow shear control.
  • Equilibrium islands and tearing-mode stabilization by design of magnetic shear.
  • Compatibility between power and particle exhaust methods and good core performance in a compact stellarator.
  • Energetic-ion instabilities stability in compact stellarators


  • Conditions for high normalized pressure disruption-free operation
  • High pressure, good confinement, compatible with steady state
Planned as:

Initial operation - shake down systems

Field Line Mapping

1.5MW Initial Experiments - (1.5MW NBI, partial PFCs)

3MW Heating - (3MW NBI, PFC liner)

Confinement and High Beta - (~6 MW, 3rd gen. PFCs)

Long Pulse – (pumped divertor)

Diagnostic upgrades throughout to match research goals

Phases IV – VI may last multiple years.

(equipment included in MIE project cost)

Research will Proceed in Phases








Overview of Initial Research Phases

  • Initial Plasma
    • Engineering measurements and tests.
  • e-Beam mapping
    • Characterize magnetic field for research.
  • 1.5MW Initial Experiments
    • Global confinement scaling, with and without current; Density limits;Plasma evolution
    • Effect of low-order rational surfaces; vertical and current-driven mode stability
    • Initial plasma-wall interaction
  • 3MW Heating
    • Control of shape during evolution
    • Moderate pressure tests of stability; effect of 3D fields on disruptions
    • Confinement scaling; local transport; rot. damping; effects of trim coils; enhanced conf.
    • Effect of plasma on surface quality; neoclassical tearing
    • Wall coatings; characterization of wall interaction; attempts to control influx
Before operation (FY2004-07), need to do long-term development to prepare for operation (similar to NSTX)

Design and begin fabrication of diagnostic upgrades for Phase III and IV.

Stellarator Edge Modeling; Design and begin fabrication of PFCs for Phase III and IV

Development of discharge control strategy, modeling.

Design of internal trim coils for Phase IV.

Design of low-power RF loading study, for Phase IV.

Research Preparation

Consistent with Acquisition Execution Plan