Experimental study of turbulence at the plasma edge of ASDEX Upgrade tokamak with an ultra-fast swept reflectometer

Abstract : Plasma confinement is limited by energy and particle transport, in which turbulence plays an important role. In this work the measurements of the turbulence characteristics carried out on the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak are presented during the transition from the Low (L) to the High (H) confinement mode which goes through an Intermediate (I) phase where turbulence and shear flows strongly interact. One of the most widely accepted theories concerning the L-H transition describes how the turbulence in the plasma edge is stabilized by radial electric field gradients: the E×B flow shear stabilizes turbulence and decreases the radial size of turbulent structures. As a consequence, a transport barrier forms in the edge where the plasma density, the temperature, and their gradients increase. The detailed physical mechanism of the formation of the transport barrier as well as the reason for the residual transport across this barrier are not yet well understood. The density dynamics is measured by an ultra-fast swept reflectometer with a time resolution as high as 1 μs. Studies of the electron density profile dynamics, the density turbulence level, radial wavenumber and frequency spectra during L-H transitions have been performed. The reflectometer measurements show that the density large scale fluctuations decrease after an L-H transition, which confirms the theoretical predictions of the turbulence reduction by sheared flows and supports previous experimental evidences. I-phases for various plasma conditions are documented and the density evolution is compared with the turbulence level. Moreover the results on high frequency coherent modes appearing at the plasma edge are presented.
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Anna Medvedeva. Experimental study of turbulence at the plasma edge of ASDEX Upgrade tokamak with an ultra-fast swept reflectometer. Plasma Physics [physics.plasm-ph]. Université de Lorraine; Technische Universität München, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LORR0240⟩. ⟨tel-01816989⟩

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