Observation of Coherent Sheared Turbulence Flows in the DIII-D Tokamak

ArticleinPhysical Review Letters 89(26):265003 · December 2002with14 Reads
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.265003 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
Time-resolved measurements of the turbulent density flow field in a tokamak plasma reveal low-frequency ( approximately 15 KHz), coherent oscillations in the poloidal flow, v(theta). These flow oscillations have a long poloidal wavelength (m<3) and narrow radial extent (k(r)rho(i) approximately 0.2). The estimated flow-shearing rate is of the same order of magnitude as the turbulence decorrelation rate and may thus regulate the turbulence amplitude. These features are consistent with theoretically predicted axisymmetric, self-regulating, sheared flows recognized as geodesic acoustic modes.
    • The magnitude of the poloidal shearing rate [33][34][35]resulting from the GAM-like velocity oscillation has been estimated using the measured parameters of the flow oscillation [21,22]. The oscillation magnitude is near 0.5 km/s and has a radial wavelength of roughly 6 cm.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zonal flows, thought crucial to the saturation and self-regulation of turbulence and turbulent transport in magnetically confined plasmas, have been observed and characterized in the edge region of DIII-D plasmas. These flows exhibit temperature scaling characteristics and spatial features predicted for geodesic acoustic modes (GAMs), a class of higher-frequency zonal flows seen in nonlinear simulations of plasma turbulence. The zonal flows (GAMs) have been observed in the turbulence flow-field in the radial region 0.85 ≤ r/a ≤ 1.0 via application of time-delay-estimation techniques to two-dimensional measurements of density fluctuations, obtained with beam emission spectroscopy. Spatial and temporal analysis of the resulting flow-field demonstrates the existence of a coherent oscillation (approximately 15 kHz) in the poloidal flow of density fluctuations that has a long poloidal wavelength, possibly m = 0, narrow radial extent krρi < 0.2), and a frequency that varies monotonically with the local temperature. The approximate effective shearing rate, dvθ/d r, of the flow is of the same order of magnitude as the measured nonlinear decorrelation rate of the turbulence. These characteristics are consistent with predicted features of zonal flows, specifically identified as GAMs, observed in three-dimensional Braginskii simulations of core/edge turbulence.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two-dimensional measurements of density fluctuations are obtained in the radial and poloidal plane of the DIII-D tokamak with the Beam Emission Spectroscopy (BES) diagnostic system. The goals are to visualize the spatial structure-and time evolution of turbulent eddies, as well as to obtain the 2D statistical properties of turbulence. The measurements are obtained with an array of localized BES spatial channels configured to image a midplane region of the plasma. 32 channels have been deployed, each with a spatial resolution of about 1 cm in the radial and poloidal directions, thus providing measurements of turbulence in the wave number range 0 < k(&BOTTOM;) &LE; 3 cm(-1). A 5 (radial) X 6 (poloidal) channel grid provides time-resolved images near the outer midplane at the sampling frequency of 1 MHz, thus providing a modest spatial resolution, high throughput, high time resolution turbulence imaging system. The images and resulting movies have broad application to a wide variety of fundamental turbulence studies: imaging of the highly complex, nonlinear turbulent eddy interactions, measurement of the 2D correlation function, and S(k(r),k(θ)) wave number spectra, and direct measurement of the equilibrium and time-dependent turbulence flow field. The time-dependent, two-dimensional turbulence velocity flow-field is obtained with time-delay-estimation techniques. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.
    Article · Mar 2003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The application of time-delay-estimation techniques to two-dimensional measurements of density fluctuations, obtained with beam emission spectroscopy in DIII-D [J. L. Luxon, Nucl. Fusion 42, 614 (2002)] plasmas, has provided temporally and spatially resolved measurements of the turbulence flow-field. Features that are characteristic of self-generated zonal flows are observed in the radial region 0.85less than or equal tor/aless than or equal to1.0. These features include a coherent oscillation (approximately 15 kHz) in the poloidal flow of density fluctuations that has a long poloidal wavelength, possibly m=0, narrow radial extent (k(r)rho(I)<0.2), and whose frequency varies monotonically with the local temperature. The approximate effective shearing rate, dv(theta)/dr, of the flow is of the same order of magnitude as the measured nonlinear decorrelation rate of the turbulence, and the density fluctuation amplitude is modulated at the frequency of the observed flow oscillation. Some phase coherence is observed between the higher wavenumber density fluctuations and low frequency poloidal flow fluctuations, suggesting a Reynolds stress contribution. These characteristics are consistent with predicted features of zonal flows, specifically identified as geodesic acoustic modes, observed in 3-D Braginskii simulations of core/edge turbulence. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.
    Article · May 2003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We elucidate the role of zonal flows in transient phenomena observed during L-H transition by studying a simple L-H transition model which contains the evolution of zonal flows, mean ExB flows, and the ion pressure gradient. Zonal flows are shown to trigger the L-H transition and cause time-transient behavior through the self-regulation of turbulence before a mean shearing, due to a steep pressure profile, secures a quiescent H mode. Surprisingly, this self-regulation lowers the power threshold for the ultimate transition to a quiescent H-mode state.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The poloidal long-wavelength E x B time-varying flows were directly measured using a forked Langmuir probe in the HT-7 tokamak. Low-frequency (<10 kHz) E x B flows were observed at the plasma edge, which possess many of the characteristics of zonal flows, including a poloidal long-wavelength (k(theta)rho(i) approximately 0) and narrow radial extent (k(r)rho(i) approximately 0.1). The cross bicoherence of turbulent Reynolds stress indicates the existence of nonlinear three-wave coupling processes and the generation of low-frequency E x B flows. The estimated flow-shearing rate is of the same order of magnitude as the turbulence decorrelation rate and may thus regulate the fluctuation level and thereby the turbulence-driven transport.
    Article · Sep 2003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonlinear energy cascades in turbulent spectra are studied in the H-1 toroidal heliac [S. M. Hamberger et al., Fusion Technol. 17, 123 (1990)] using the spectral energy transfer estimation and the amplitude correlation technique. An inverse energy cascade of the spectral energy from the unstable range is shown to be responsible for the generation of the large-scale coherent structures dominating turbulence spectra. Among such structures are zonal flows which are also found to be generated via the inverse cascade. The generation of zonal flows is correlated with the increased strength in the nonlinear energy transfer. The onset of the strongly sheared radial electric field across the low–high (L–H) transition dramatically changes the energy transfer in the spectra and the spectral power of the fluctuations. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004
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