Design of the PROTO-SPHERA experiment and of its first step (MULTI-PINCH)

F. Alladio, P. Costa, A. Mancuso, P. Micozzi, S. Papastergiou, F. Rogier

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The design study of PROTO-SPHERA, a novel compact torus configuration, has been completed. It is composed of a spherical torus (ST) (with closed flux surfaces) and a force-free screw pinch (SP) (with open flux surfaces and fed by electrodes). PROTO-SPHERA is formed at spherical-tokamak-like densities (∼1019m-3) with low voltage (∼200 V) between the electrodes. The idea of replacing the metal centrepost current (Itf) of the spherical tokamaks with the SP plasma electrode current (Ie) is aimed mainly at getting rid of the rod at the centre of the plasma configuration, which is the most critical component of spherical tokamak design. As a consequence it should be possible to decrease the aspect ratio A ≤ R/a (R ≤ ST major radius, a ≤ ST minor radius) in the course of experiment and to increase the ratio between the toroidal plasma current (IST) and the plasma electrode current, IST/Ie≫ 1. Matching two plasma configurations, i.e. an open flux-surface SP and a closed flux-surface ST, brings to life several radically new issues. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the equilibrium, the ideal MHD stability and the formations and modelling issues of such a combined magnetic confinement system. The MULTI-PINCH experimental setup, which is being assembled inside the START vacuum vessel (now in Frascati), will represent the first phase of PROTO-SPHERA: its goal is to prove the feasibility of a stable disc-shaped SP around the electrodes. © 2006 IAEA, Vienna.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberS07
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Alladio, F., Costa, P., Mancuso, A., Micozzi, P., Papastergiou, S., & Rogier, F. (2006). Design of the PROTO-SPHERA experiment and of its first step (MULTI-PINCH). Nuclear Fusion, 46(8), -. [S07].