Observation of EHO in NSTX and theoretical study of its active control using HHFW antenna

J. K. Park, Robert James Goldston, N. A. Crocker, E. D. Fredrickson, M. G. Bell, R. Maingi, K. Tritz, M. A. Jaworski, S. Kubota, F. Kelly, S. P. Gerhardt, S. M. Kaye, J. E. Menard, M. Ono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Two important topics for tokamak edge-localized modes (ELM) control, based on non-axisymmetric (3D) magnetic perturbations, are studied in NSTX and combined envisioning ELM control in the future NSTX-U operation: experimental observations of the edge harmonic oscillation (EHO) in NSTX (with lower frequency than EHOs in DIII-D and elsewhere), and theoretical study of its external drive using the high-harmonic fast wave (HHFW) antenna as a 3D field coil. EHOs were observed particularly clearly in NSTX ELM-free operation with very low n core modes. A number of diagnostics have confirmed n = 4-6 edge-localized and coherent oscillations in the 2-8 kHz frequency range. These oscillations seem to have a favoured operational window in rotational shear, similar to EHOs in DIII-D quiescent H modes. However, in NSTX, they are not observed to provide significant particle or impurity transport, possibly due to their weak amplitudes, of a few mm displacements, as measured by reflectometry. The external drive of these modes has been proposed in NSTX, by utilizing audio-frequency currents in the HHFW antenna straps. Analysis shows that the HHFW straps can be optimized to maximize n = 4-6 while minimizing n = 1-3. Also, ideal perturbed equilibrium code calculations show that the optimized configuration with only 1 kAt current can produce comparable or larger displacements than the observed internal modes. Thus it may be possible to use externally driven EHOs to relax the edge pressure gradient and control ELMs in NSTX-U and future devices. Fine and external control over the edge pressure gradient would be a very valuable tool for tokamak control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043013
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • 3D field
  • EHO
  • ELM
  • HHFW
  • tokamak


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