Optimization of 3D controlled ELM-free state with recovered global confinement for KSTAR with n = 1 resonant magnetic field perturbation

S. K. Kim, R. Shousha, S. H. Hahn, A. O. Nelson, J. Wai, S. M. Yang, J. K. Park, R. Nazikian, N. C. Logan, Y. M. Jeon, Y. In, J. H. Lee, J. Kim, C. Y. Lee, Y. S. Na, E. Kolemen

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11 Scopus citations


Mitigation of deleterious heat flux from edge-localized modes (ELMs) on fusion reactors is often attempted with 3D perturbations of the confining magnetic fields. However, the established technique of resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) also degrades plasma performance, complicating implementation on future fusion reactors. In this paper, we introduce an adaptive real-time control scheme on the KSTAR tokamak as a viable approach to achieve an ELM-free state and simultaneously recover high-confinement (β N ∼ 1.91, β p ∼ 1.53, and H 98 ∼ 0.9), demonstrating successful handling of a volatile complex system through adaptive measures. We show that, by exploiting a salient hysteresis process to adaptively minimize the RMP strength, stable ELM suppression can be achieved while actively encouraging confinement recovery. This is made possible by a self-organized transport response in the plasma edge which reinforces the confinement improvement through a widening of the ion temperature pedestal and promotes control stability, in contrast to the deteriorating effect on performance observed in standard RMP experiments. These results establish the real-time approach as an up-and-coming solution toward an optimized ELM-free state, which is an important step for the operation of ITER and reactor-grade tokamak plasmas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number026043
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • ELM suppression
  • confinement optimization
  • edge localized mode
  • edge pedestal
  • real-time feedback control
  • resonant magnetic perturbation


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