Overview of electron cyclotron heating and electron cyclotron current drive launcher development in magnetic fusion devices

Sante Cirant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


In any system designed for electron cyclotron (EC) heating (ECH) and EC current drive in fusion plasmas, the launcher is the matching element between the plasma and the transmission line. Only an appropriate launcher achieves efficient use of the gyrotron power for the many different high-power EC H&CD applications. The frontier is now set at ≈ 4 MW of launched power at 110 to 140 GHz for ≈ 10 s, to be further moved to ≈ 10 MW, 1000 s in the near future. ITER will push the limit to 20 MW, 170 GHz- The workhorse of the antenna system is the front steering setup consisting of a movable mirror, or a mirror array, in front of the hot plasma, which provides for full flexibility in the EC H&CD applications. However, because of the concern associated with cooled and movable parts in a hostile environment, an arrangement with movable mirrors positioned far from the vessel port, and connected to the plasma by imaging waveguides, is being developed as a remote steering backup solution. In a reactor, where flexibility is much less relevant than reliability, the situation could reverse. Techniques for a radial scan of the deposition layer different from front beam steering are discussed in this paper. The ideal goal would be a 100% coupling of the launched EC power, to occur within ≈ 2% of the plasma size and through pipes of size negligible with respect to the vessel, without negative impact on plasma periphery in spite of the high power densities transmitted through the edge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12 - 37
Number of pages26
JournalFusion Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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