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Power accounting of plasma discharges in the linear device Proto-MPEX...

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Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
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Plasma material interaction (PMI) studies are crucial to the successful development of future fusion reactors. Prototype Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (Proto-MPEX) is a prototype design for the MPEX, a steady-state linear device being developed to study PMI. The primary purpose of Proto-MPEX is developing the plasma heating source concepts for MPEX. A power accounting study of Proto-MPEX works to identify machine operating parameters that could improve its performance, thereby increasing its PMI research capabilities, potentially impacting the MPEX design concept. To build a comprehensive power balance, an analysis of the helicon region has been performed implementing a diagnostic suite and software modeling to identify mechanisms and locations of heat loss from the main plasma. Of the 106.3 kW of input power, up to 90.5% of the power has been accounted for in the helicon region. When the analysis was extended to encompass the device to its end plates, 49.2% of the input power was accounted for and verified diagnostically. Areas requiring further diagnostic analysis are identified. The required improvements will be implemented in future work. The data acquisition and analysis processes will be streamlined to form a working model for future power balance studies of Proto-MPEX.