MHD induced neutral beam ion loss from NSTX plasmas

D.S. Darrow, E.D. Fredrickson, N.N. Gorelenkov, A.L. Roquemore, K. Shinohara
2008 Nuclear Fusion  
Bursts of ~60 kHz activity on Mirnov coils occur frequently in NSTX plasmas and these are accompanied by bursts of neutral beam ion loss over a range in pitch angles. These losses have been measured with a scintillator type loss probe imaged with a high speed (>10,000 frames/s) video camera, giving the evolution of the energy and pitch angle distributions of the lost neutral beam ions over the course of the events. The instability occurs below the TAE frequency in NSTX (~100 kHz) in high beta
more » ... asmas and may be a beta driven Alfvén acoustic (BAAE) mode. The data from one burst that causes a 13% reduction in the neutron rate has been studied extensively and has several interesting features. First, the burst begins with the mode having a purely n=1 character, sweeping downward in frequency. However, there is no change to the underlying loss signal during this time interval. This indicates there is no phase space transport of fast (80 keV D) ions into the loss cone seen by the probe from the frequency sweeping. As the burst evolves further in time, a concurrent n=2 mode arises, followed quickly by a concurrent n=3 mode. During this period when multiple modes are present, loss over a wide range of pitch angles is seen simultaneously, suggesting stochastization of the beam ion phase space. There is no evidence of any sweeping in pitch angle of the loss in either phase of the burst, at least not on the 100 microsecond time scale. PACS numbers: 52.25Xz, 52.35Py, 52.55.Fa
doi:10.1088/0029-5515/48/8/084004 fatcat:bq3axgl3xzbb5dxpdz4w7lvhjq