Optimization of the FAST ICRF antenna using TOPICA code

M. Sorba, D. Milanesio, R. Maggiora, A. Tuccillo

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Ion Cyclotron Resonance Heating is one of the most important auxiliary heating systems in most plasma confinement experiments. Because of this, the need for very accurate design of ion cyclotron (IC) launchers has dramatically grown in recent years. Furthermore, a reliable simulation tool is a crucial request in the successful design of these antennas, since full testing is impossible outside experiments. One of the most advanced and validated simulation codes is TOPICA, which offers the possibility to handle the geometrical level of detail of a real antenna in front of an accurately described plasma scenario. Adopting this essential tool made possible to reach a refined design of ion cyclotron radio frequency antenna for the FAST (Fusion Advanced Studies Torus) experiment [1]. Starting from a streamlined antenna model and then following well-defined refinement procedures, an optimized launcher design in terms of power delivered to plasma has been finally achieved. The computer-assisted geometry refinements allowed an increase in the performances of the antenna and notably in power handling: the extent of the gained improvements were not experienced in the past, essentially due to the absence of predictive tools capable of analyzing the detailed effects of antenna geometry in plasma facing conditions. Thus, with the help of TOPICA code, it has been possible to comply with the FAST experiment requirements in terms of vacuum chamber constraints and power delivered to plasma. Once an antenna geometry was optimized with a reference plasma profile, the analysis of the performances of the launcher has been extended with respect to two plasma scenarios. Exploiting all TOPICA features, it has been possible to predict the behavior of the launcher in real operating conditions, for instance varying the position of the separatrix surface. In order to fulfil the analysis of the FAST IC antenna, the study of the RF potentials, which depend on the parallel electric field computation, has been carried out with an exceptional level of detail. Finally, in order to provide a more general overview of the antenna performances, two IC launchers have been simulated to determine their mutual influence, achieving an optimum degree of knowledge about the relevant features of the ion cyclotron heating system inside the FAST tokamak. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161 - 168
Number of pages8
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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