Ambient fluctuations and the generation of coherent convective structures are investigated as a function of vertical to toroidal magnetic field ratio (B z/B t) in the spherical tokamak QUEST [K. Hanada et al., Plasma Fusion Research 5, S1007]. Fluctuation signals are obtained at a high spatial and temporal resolution using the fast visible camera. The coherent structures (blobs) were seen to be apparent only beyond a critical Bz/Bt ratio (∼ 10 -2). This clearly indicates a shift from the drift to the interchange mode with the increase in vertical magnetic field. The blobs are propagated radially at a high speed ∼ 10 3 m/s which is ∼ 1/10 th of the ion acoustic speed in QUEST. Lifetime of the blobs is about 700 μs. Second part of the study comprises of the investigation of the finer structures in the current ramp-up phase which is characterized by lower levels of fluctuations. Singular value decomposition (SVD) and principal component analysis (PCA) techniques are applied on the fast camera images to reveal the structures which are otherwise embedded in the overall intensity image. Electron banana orbits were seen to form from the slab annular plasma and grow wider to eventually shape the plasma current front.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering