First results from plasma density measurements in the FTU tokamak by means of a two-frequency pulsed time-of-flight refractometer

V.G. Petrov, A. Yu. Malyshev, V.K. Markov, A.A. Petrov, F. Avino, R. de Angelis, O. Tudisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


A pulsed time-of-flight refractometer was developed and tested to determine the mean plasma density in the T-11M tokamak by measuring the propagation time of nanosecond microwave pulses in plasma. Later, it was also proposed to use such an instrument to measure and control the mean plasma density in the ITER tokamak by probing the plasma with an extraordinary wave, the electric field of which is perpendicular to the magnetic field in plasma, in the transparency window at frequencies of 50-100 GHz. To avoid the effect of the density profile shape on the measurement results in the nonlinear mode of refractometer operation (near the cutoff), a system operating at two different probing frequencies was developed and tested. Such a system provides two values of the time delay, which can be used to estimate the peaking factor of the density distribution α and correctly determine the linear density 〈Nl〉, regardless of the density profile (assuming a smooth density profile of the form of N(ρ) = N(0)(1 - ρ2)α, where N(0) is the central plasma density and ρ = r/a is the normalized plasma radius). The first experiments on density measurements in the FTU tokamak performed with this refractometer are described, and results from these experiments are presented. The formation of a thin dense plasma layer in the zone of a strong magnetic field (the so-called MARFE layer) at a relatively low (for FTU) plasma density of ~6 × 1019m-3was detected. The thickness of this layer, determined from the refractometry data, agrees well with the data obtained using a digital camera. © 2012 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343 - 351
Number of pages9
JournalPlasma Physics Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Petrov, V. G., Malyshev, A. Y., Markov, V. K., Petrov, A. A., Avino, F., de Angelis, R., & Tudisco, O. (2012). First results from plasma density measurements in the FTU tokamak by means of a two-frequency pulsed time-of-flight refractometer. Plasma Physics Reports, 38(4), 343 - 351.