Publications by Felix Parra Diaz


Collisionality scaling of the electron heat flux in ETG turbulence

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion IOP Publishing: Hybrid Open Access (0)

GJ Colyer, AA Schekochihin, FI Parra, CM Roach, MA Barnes, Y-C Ghim, W Dorland

In electrostatic simulations of MAST plasma at electron-gyroradius scales, using the local flux-tube gyrokinetic code GS2 with adiabatic ions, we find that the long-time saturated electron heat flux (the level most relevant to energy transport) decreases as the electron collisionality decreases. At early simulation times, the heat flux "quasi-saturates" without any strong dependence on collisionality, and with the turbulence dominated by streamer-like radially elongated structures. However, the zonal fluctuation component continues to grow slowly until much later times, eventually leading to a new saturated state dominated by zonal modes and with the heat flux proportional to the collision rate, in approximate agreement with the experimentally observed collisionality scaling of the energy confinement in MAST. We outline an explanation of this effect based on a model of ETG turbulence dominated by zonal-nonzonal interactions and on an analytically derived scaling of the zonal-mode damping rate with the electron-ion collisionality. Improved energy confinement with decreasing collisionality is favourable towards the performance of future, hotter devices.


Radial penetration of flux surface shaping in tokamaks

ArXiv (0)

J Ball, FI Parra

Using analytic calculations, the effects of the edge flux surface shape and the toroidal current profile on the penetration of flux surface shaping are investigated in a tokamak. It is shown that the penetration of shaping is determined by the poloidal variation of the poloidal magnetic field on the surface. This fact is used to investigate how different flux surface shapes penetrate from the edge. Then, a technique to separate the effects of magnetic pressure and tension in the Grad-Shafranov equation is presented and used to calculate radial profiles of strong elongation for nearly constant current profiles. Lastly, it is shown that more hollow toroidal current profiles are significantly better at conveying shaping from the edge to the core.


Long-wavelength limit of gyrokinetics in a turbulent tokamak and its intrinsic ambipolarity

ArXiv (0)

I Calvo, FI Parra

Recently, the electrostatic gyrokinetic Hamiltonian and change of coordinates have been computed to order $\epsilon^2$ in general magnetic geometry. Here $\epsilon$ is the gyrokinetic expansion parameter, the gyroradius over the macroscopic scale length. Starting from these results, the long-wavelength limit of the gyrokinetic Fokker-Planck and quasineutrality equations is taken for tokamak geometry. Employing the set of equations derived in the present article, it is possible to calculate the long-wavelength components of the distribution functions and of the poloidal electric field to order $\epsilon^2$. These higher-order pieces contain both neoclassical and turbulent contributions, and constitute one of the necessary ingredients (the other is given by the short-wavelength components up to second order) that will eventually enter a complete model for the radial transport of toroidal angular momentum in a tokamak in the low flow ordering. Finally, we provide an explicit and detailed proof that the system consisting of second-order gyrokinetic Fokker-Planck and quasineutrality equations leaves the long-wavelength radial electric field undetermined; that is, the turbulent tokamak is intrinsically ambipolar.


Radially global $δf$ computation of neoclassical phenomena in a tokamak pedestal

ArXiv (0)

M Landreman, FI Parra, PJ Catto, DR Ernst, I Pusztai

Conventional radially-local neoclassical calculations become inadequate if the radial gradient scale lengths of the H-mode pedestal become as small as the poloidal ion gyroradius. Here, we describe a radially global $\delta f$ continuum code that generalizes neoclassical calculations to allow stronger gradients. As with conventional neoclassical calculations, the formulation is time-independent and requires only the solution of a single sparse linear system. We demonstrate precise agreement with an asymptotic analytic solution of the radially global kinetic equation in the appropriate limits of aspect ratio and collisionality. This agreement depends crucially on accurate treatment of finite orbit width effects.


A current driven electromagnetic mode in sheared and toroidal configurations

ArXiv (0)

I Pusztai, PJ Catto, FI Parra, M Barnes

The induced electric field in a tokamak drives a parallel electron current flow. In an inhomogeneous, finite beta plasma, when this electron flow is comparable to the ion thermal speed, the Alfven mode wave solutions of the electromagnetic gyrokinetic equation can become nearly purely growing kink modes. Using the new "low-flow" version of the gyrokinetic code GS2 developed for momentum transport studies [Barnes et al 2013 Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 055005], we are able to model the effect of the induced parallel electric field on the electron distribution to study the destabilizing influence of current on stability. We identify high mode number kink modes in GS2 simulations and make comparisons to analytical theory in sheared magnetic geometry. We demonstrate reassuring agreement with analytical results both in terms of parametric dependences of mode frequencies and growth rates, and regarding the radial mode structure.


Conditions for up-down asymmetry in the core of tokamak equilibria

ArXiv (0)

P Rodrigues, NF Loureiro, J Ball, FI Parra

A local magnetic equilibrium solution is sought around the magnetic axis in order to identify the key parameters defining the magnetic-surface's up-down asymmetry in the core of tokamak plasmas. The asymmetry is found to be determined essentially by the ratio of the toroidal current density flowing on axis to the fraction of the external field's odd perturbation that manages to propagate from the plasma boundary into the core. The predictions are tested and illustrated first with an analytical Solovev equilibrium and then using experimentally relevant numerical equilibria. Hollow current-density distributions, and hence reverse magnetic shear, are seen to be crucial to bring into the core asymmetry values that are usually found only near the plasma edge.


Experimental Signatures of Critically Balanced Turbulence in MAST

ArXiv (0)

Y-C Ghim, AA Schekochihin, AR Field, IG Abel, M Barnes, G Colyer, SC Cowley, FI Parra, D Dunai, S Zoletnik, TMAST Team

Beam Emission Spectroscopy (BES) measurements of ion-scale density fluctuations in the MAST tokamak are used to show that the turbulence correlation time, the drift time associated with ion temperature or density gradients, the particle (ion) streaming time along the magnetic field and the magnetic drift time are consistently comparable, suggesting a "critically balanced" turbulence determined by the local equilibrium. The resulting scalings of the poloidal and radial correlation lengths are derived and tested. The nonlinear time inferred from the density fluctuations is longer than the other times; its ratio to the correlation time scales as $\nu_{*i}^{-0.8\pm0.1}$, where $\nu_{*i}=$ ion collision rate/streaming rate. This is consistent with turbulent decorrelation being controlled by a zonal component, invisible to the BES, with an amplitude exceeding the drift waves' by $\sim \nu_{*i}^{-0.8}$.


Analytic fluid theory of beam spiraling in high-intensity cyclotrons

ArXiv (0)

AJ Cerfon, JP Freidberg, FI Parra, TA Antaya

Using a two-dimensional fluid description, we investigate the nonlinear radial-longitudinal dynamics of intense beams in storage rings and cyclotrons. With a multiscale analysis separating the time scale associated with the betatron motion and the slower time scale associated with space-charge effects, we show that the longitudinal-radial vortex motion can be understood in the frame moving with the charged beam as the nonlinear advection of the beam by the $\mathbf{E}\times\mathbf{B}$ velocity field, where $\mathbf{E}$ is the electric field due to the space charge and $\mathbf{B}$ is the external magnetic field. This interpretation provides simple explanations for the stability of round beams and for the development of spiral halos in elongated beams. By numerically solving the nonlinear advection equation for the beam density, we find that it is also in quantitative agreement with results obtained in PIC simulations.


Stellarators close to quasisymmetry

ArXiv (0)

I Calvo, FI Parra, JL Velasco, JA Alonso

Rotation is favorable for confinement, but a stellarator can rotate at high speeds if and only if it is sufficiently close to quasisymmetry. This article investigates how close it needs to be. For a magnetic field $\mathbf{B} = \mathbf{B}_0 + \alpha \mathbf{B}_1$, where $\mathbf{B}_0$ is quasisymmetric, $\alpha\mathbf{B}_1$ is a deviation from quasisymmetry, and $\alpha\ll 1$, the stellarator can rotate at high velocities if $\alpha < \epsilon^{1/2}$, with $\epsilon$ the ion Larmor radius over the characteristic variation length of $\mathbf{B}_0$. The cases in which this result may break down are discussed. If the stellarator is sufficiently quasisymmetric in the above sense, the rotation profile, and equivalently, the long-wavelength radial electric field, are not set neoclassically; instead, they can be affected by turbulent transport. Their computation requires the $O(\epsilon^2)$ pieces of both the turbulent and the long-wavelength components of the distribution function. This article contains the first step towards a formulation to calculate the rotation profile by providing the equations determining the long-wavelength components of the $O(\epsilon^2)$ pieces.


Intrinsic rotation driven by non-Maxwellian equilibria in tokamak plasmas

ArXiv (0)

M Barnes, FI Parra, JP Lee, EA Belli, MFF Nave, AE White

The effect of small deviations from a Maxwellian equilibrium on turbulent momentum transport in tokamak plasmas is considered. These non-Maxwellian features, arising from diamagnetic effects, introduce a strong dependence of the radial flux of co-current toroidal angular momentum on collisionality: As the plasma goes from nearly collisionless to weakly collisional, the flux reverses direction from radially inward to outward. This indicates a collisionality-dependent transition from peaked to hollow rotation profiles, consistent with experimental observations of intrinsic rotation.


Perpendicular momentum injection by lower hybrid wave in a tokamak

ArXiv (0)

J Lee, FI Parra, RR Parker, PT Bonoli

The injection of lower hybrid waves for current drive into a tokamak affects the profile of intrinsic rotation. In this article, the momentum deposition by the lower hybrid wave on the electrons is studied. Due to the increase in the poloidal momentum of the wave as it propagates into the tokamak, the parallel momentum of the wave increases considerably. The change of the perpendicular momentum of the wave is such that the toroidal angular momentum of the wave is conserved. If the perpendicular momentum transfer via electron Landau damping is ignored, the transfer of the toroidal angular momentum to the plasma will be larger than the injected toroidal angular momentum. A proper quasilinear treatment proves that both perpendicular and parallel momentum are transferred to the electrons. The toroidal angular momentum of the electrons is then transferred to the ions via different mechanisms for the parallel and perpendicular momentum. The perpendicular momentum is transferred to ions through an outward radial electron pinch, while the parallel momentum is transferred through collisions.


Intrinsic rotation with gyrokinetic models

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, M Barnes, I Calvo, PJ Catto

The generation of intrinsic rotation by turbulence and neoclassical effects in tokamaks is considered. To obtain the complex dependences observed in experiments, it is necessary to have a model of the radial flux of momentum that redistributes the momentum within the tokamak in the absence of a preexisting velocity. When the lowest order gyrokinetic formulation is used, a symmetry of the model precludes this possibility, making small effects in the gyroradius over scale length expansion necessary. These effects that are usually small become important for momentum transport because the symmetry of the lowest order gyrokinetic formulation leads to the cancellation of the lowest order momentum flux. The accuracy to which the gyrokinetic equation needs to be obtained to retain all the physically relevant effects is discussed.


Zero-Turbulence Manifold in a Toroidal Plasma

ArXiv (0)

EG Highcock, AA Schekochihin, SC Cowley, M Barnes, FI Parra, CM Roach, W Dorland

Sheared toroidal flows can cause bifurcations to zero-turbulent-transport states in tokamak plasmas. The maximum temperature gradients that can be reached are limited by subcritical turbulence driven by the parallel velocity gradient. Here it is shown that q/\epsilon (magnetic field pitch/inverse aspect ratio) is a critical control parameter for sheared tokamak turbulence. By reducing q/\epsilon, far higher temperature gradients can be achieved without triggering turbulence, in some instances comparable to those found experimentally in transport barriers. The zero-turbulence manifold is mapped out, in the zero-magnetic-shear limit, over the parameter space (\gamma_E, q/\epsilon, R/L_T), where \gamma_E is the perpendicular flow shear and R/L_T is the normalised inverse temperature gradient scale. The extent to which it can be constructed from linear theory is discussed.


Transport Bifurcation Induced by Sheared Toroidal Flow in Tokamak Plasmas

ArXiv (0)

EG Highcock, M Barnes, FI Parra, AA Schekochihin, CM Roach, SC Cowley

First-principles numerical simulations are used to describe a transport bifurcation in a differentially rotating tokamak plasma. Such a bifurcation is more probable in a region of zero magnetic shear than one of finite magnetic shear because in the former case the component of the sheared toroidal flow that is perpendicular to the magnetic field has the strongest suppressing effect on the turbulence. In the zero-magnetic-shear regime, there are no growing linear eigenmodes at any finite value of flow shear. However, subcritical turbulence can be sustained, owing to the transient growth of modes driven by the ion temperature gradient (ITG) and the parallel velocity gradient (PVG). Nonetheless, in a parameter space containing a wide range of temperature gradients and velocity shears, there is a sizeable window where all turbulence is suppressed. Combined with the relatively low transport of momentum by collisional (neoclassical) mechanisms, this produces the conditions for a bifurcation from low to high temperature and velocity gradients. The path of this bifurcation is mapped out using interpolation from a large number of simulations. Numerical simulations are also used to construct a parametric model which accurately describes the combined effect of the temperature gradient and the flow gradient over a wide range of their values. Using this parametric model, it is shown that in this reduced-transport state, heat is transported almost neoclassically, while momentum transport is dominated by subcritical PVG turbulence. It is further shown that for any given input of torque, there is an optimum input of heat which maximises the temperature gradient. The parametric model describes both the behaviour of the subcritical turbulence and the complicated effect of the flow shear on the transport stiffness. It may prove useful for transport modelling of tokamaks with sheared flows.


Up-down symmetry of the turbulent transport of toroidal angular momentum in tokamaks

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, M Barnes, AG Peeters

Two symmetries of the local nonlinear delta-f gyrokinetic system of equations in tokamaks in the high flow regime are presented. The turbulent transport of toroidal angular momentum changes sign under an up-down reflection of the tokamak and a sign change of both the rotation and the rotation shear. Thus, the turbulent transport of toroidal angular momentum must vanish for up-down symmetric tokamaks in the absence of both rotation and rotation shear. This has important implications for the modeling of spontaneous rotation.


Phase-space Lagrangian derivation of electrostatic gyrokinetics in general geometry

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, I Calvo

Gyrokinetic theory is based on an asymptotic expansion in the small parameter $\epsilon$, defined as the ratio of the gyroradius and the characteristic length of variation of the magnetic field. In this article, this ordering is strictly implemented to compute the electrostatic gyrokinetic phase-space Lagrangian in general magnetic geometry to order $\epsilon^2$. In particular, a new expression for the complete second-order gyrokinetic Hamiltonian is provided, showing that in a rigorous treatment of gyrokinetic theory magnetic geometry and turbulence cannot be dealt with independently. The new phase-space gyrokinetic Lagrangian gives a Vlasov equation accurate to order $\epsilon^2$ and a Poisson equation accurate to order $\epsilon$. The final expressions are explicit and can be implemented into any simulation without further computations.


Sources of intrinsic rotation in the low flow ordering

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, M Barnes, PJ Catto

A low flow, $\delta f$ gyrokinetic formulation to obtain the intrinsic rotation profiles is presented. The momentum conservation equation in the low flow ordering contains new terms, neglected in previous first principles formulations, that may explain the intrinsic rotation observed in tokamaks in the absence of external sources of momentum. The intrinsic rotation profile depends on the density and temperature profiles and on the up-down asymmetry.


Dependence on ion temperature of shallow-angle magnetic presheaths with adiabatic electrons

Journal of Plasma Physics (0)

A Geraldini, F Militello, FI Parra

The magnetic presheath is a boundary layer occurring when magnetized plasma is in contact with a wall and the angle $\alpha$ between the wall and the magnetic field $\vec{B}$ is oblique. Here, we consider the fusion-relevant case of a shallow-angle, $\alpha \ll 1$, electron-repelling sheath, with the electron density given by a Boltzmann distribution, valid for $\alpha / \sqrt{\tau+1} \gg \sqrt{m_{\text{e}}/m_{\text{i}}}$, where $m_{\text{e}}$ is the electron mass, $m_{\text{i}}$ is the ion mass, $\tau = T_{\text{i}}/ZT_{\text{e}}$, $T_{\text{e}}$ is the electron temperature, $T_{\text{i}}$ is the ion temperature, and $Z$ is the ionic charge state. The thickness of the magnetic presheath is of the order of a few ion sound Larmor radii $\rho_{\text{s}} = \sqrt{m_{\text{i}} \left(ZT_{\text{e}} + T_{\text{i}} \right) } / ZeB$, where $e$ is the proton charge and $B = |\vec{B}|$ is the magnitude of the magnetic field. We study the dependence on $\tau $ of the electrostatic potential and ion distribution function in the magnetic presheath by using a set of prescribed ion distribution functions at the magnetic presheath entrance, parameterized by $\tau$. The kinetic model is shown to be asymptotically equivalent to Chodura's fluid model at small ion temperature, $\tau \ll 1$, for $|\ln \alpha| &gt; 3|\ln \tau | \gg 1$. In this limit, despite the fact that fluid equations give a reasonable approximation to the potential, ion gyro-orbits acquire a spatial extent that occupies a large portion of the magnetic presheath. At large ion temperature, $\tau \gg 1$, relevant because $T_{\text{i}}$ is measured to be a few times larger than $T_{\text{e}}$ near divertor targets of fusion devices, ions reach the Debye sheath entrance (and subsequently the wall) at a shallow angle whose size is given by $\sqrt{\alpha}$ or $1/\sqrt{\tau}$, depending on which is largest.


KNOSOS: a fast orbit-averaging neoclassical code for arbitrary stellarator geometry

(0)

JL Velasco, FI Parra, I Calvo, JM García-Regaña

KNOSOS (KiNetic Orbit-averaging SOlver for Stellarators) is a freely available, open-source code that calculates neoclassical transport in low-collisionality plasmas of three-dimensional magnetic confinement devices by solving the radially local drift-kinetic and quasineutrality equations. The main feature of KNOSOS is that it relies on orbit-averaging, which removes the dependence on the coordinate along the magnetic field line, and allows to solve the drift-kinetic equation very fast. KNOSOS treats rigorously the effect of the component of the magnetic drift that is tangent to magnetic surfaces, and of the component of the electrostatic potential that varies on the flux-surface, {\varphi}_1. Furthermore, the equation solved is linear in {\varphi}_1, which permits an efficient solution of the quasineutrality equation. As long as the radially local approach is valid, KNOSOS can be applied to the calculation of neoclassical transport in stellarators (helias, heliotrons, heliacs, etc.) and tokamaks with broken axisymmetry. In this paper, we show several calculations for the stellarators W7-X, LHD, NCSX and TJ-II that provide benchmark with standard local codes and demonstrate the advantages of this approach.


When omnigeneity fails

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, I Calvo, JL Velasco, JA Alonso

A generic non-symmetric magnetic field does not confine magnetized charged particles for long times due to secular magnetic drifts. Stellarator magnetic fields should be omnigeneous (that is, designed such that the secular drifts vanish), but perfect omnigeneity is technically impossible. There always are small deviations from omnigeneity that necessarily have large gradients. The amplification of the energy flux caused by a deviation of size $\epsilon$ is calculated and it is shown that the scaling with $\epsilon$ of the amplification factor can be as large as linear. In opposition to common wisdom, most of the transport is not due to particles trapped in ripple wells, but to the perturbed motion of particles trapped in the omnigeneous magnetic wells around their bounce points.

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