Electron cyclotron heating and current drive using the electron Bernstein modes
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Electron Bernstein waves are a mode of oscillation in a plasma, thought a candidate for providing radiofrequency heating and non-inductive current drive in spherical tokamaks. Previous studies of these modes have relied on neglecting or simplifying the contribution made by relativistic effects. This work presents fully relativistic numerical results that show the mode's dispersion relation for a wide range of parameters. Relativistic effects are shown to shift the location of the resonance as in previous studies, but the effects beyond this are shown to matter only in high temperature (10-20keV) plasmas. At these higher temperatures however, the fully relativistic model differs markedly. The assumption that the mode is electrostatic is looked at, and found to be inadequate for describing fully the electron Bernstein modes dispersion relation. Simple estimates that neglect toroidal effects show current drive efficiency is expected to be an order of magnitude higher than that for conventional electron cyclotron current drive using the O or X modes. It is shown for a number of model tokamaks that heating the center of the plasma and driving current using EBWs is impossible launching from the outside due to strong damping of the wave at higher cyclotron harmonics. Results from a code based on a more complicated semi-analytic model of current drive, that includes toroidal effects and calculates the average current drive over the magnetic surface, confirm the higher expected current drive efficiency, and the code is shown to give good agreement with a Fokker-Planck code. The higher values of perpendicular refractive index associated with the EBWs are shown to mitigate the deleterious effects of trapping on current drive efficiency to a small extent. The details of the magnetic field are found to be unimportant to the calculation beyond determing where the wave is absorbed. The codes written to produce these results are outlined before each set of results. The last of these is considerably faster than conventional Fokker-Planck codes and a useful tool in studying electron cyclotron current drive in the future.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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