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Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


alcator c-mod

Collaborations at Alcator C-Mod

Collaborations form an integral and important part of the Alcator C-Mod research effort. Among the major facilities, C-Mod has a relatively small scientific staff, and collaborations provide a high leverage avenue to increase our productivity. Opportunities for collaboration can be found across the entire spectrum of our research activities. Education is a primary mission of MIT, and we particularly welcome and encourage student participation in our program.
The Alcator program is centered around the overall theme of: Compact high-performance divertor tokamak research to establish the plasma physics and plasma engineering necessary for an ignited tokamak experiment and for attractive fusion reactors. Because of its compact dimensions and high magnetic field, Alcator C-Mod investigates an essential area in parameter space, which complements the world's larger experiments, in establishing the tokamak physics database.
The near term physics program for C-Mod emphasizes four key areas of fusion science and technology which are organized into two topical thrusts:

Programmatic Thrusts

Advanced Scenarios

The high-field compact design of Alcator C-Mod permits long pulse lengths compared to the resistive skin time, providing an outstanding opportunity to investigate the steady-state potential of stability and enhanced confinement in advanced tokamak modes. Near-term research includes investigation of ITB scenarios with ICRF heating alone, and current and pressure profile control including ICRF mode conversion current and flow drive. We implemented a major Lower Hybrid Current Drive upgrade (4 MW, 4.6 GHz); experiments with this system began in 2005.

  • ITER Baseline
    The ITER baseline thrust emphasizes two complementary themes: Development and validation of the physics basis underlying the key issues (transport, stability, heating, etc.) in the relevant parameter regimes for a tokamak burning plasma experiment (moderate beta, collisionality); Development and demonstration of operational scenarios and techniques for optimization of burning plasma experiments.


Topical Science Areas

  • Transport
    Research in the transport area includes studies of H-mode threshold physics; transport barrier physics; tests of theoretical models, particularly critical gradient models, using both steady state and perturbative techniques; non-dimensional identity and scaling experiments, including joint experiments with other tokamak facilities; and particle dynamics, including density limit physics and impurity transport.
  • Edge/Divertor Physics
    Divertor research on C-Mod takes advantage of the advanced divertor shaping, the very high scrape-off-layer power density, and unique abilities in impurity diagnosis to advance the physics understanding of this critical topic. Particular emphasis is on radiative dissipation and detachment in high performance plasmas, atomic processes, and transport theory and modeling.
  • RF and Current Drive
    RF is the only means of auxiliary heating and current drive presently employed on C-Mod. Recent research has investigated a variety of heating mechanisms, including fast wave minority fundamental, mode conversion, and second harmonic heating, using variable frequency sources (40 to 80 MHz) at fields between 2.6 and 8 Tesla. Fast wave current drive, and mode conversion current and flow drive are being investigated with these tools. Off-axis lower hybrid current drive, with the 4.6 GHz system is an ongoing focus of the program, aiming toward fully non-inductive regimes.
  • MHD and Stability
    Current research topics include: disruption physics, including mitigation using massive gas puffs; ELM physics, including large and small/no ELM regimes; stability properties of H-mode and ITB discharges at finite beta-normal; error field/locked mode research; and shape control optimization.

The Alcator group has long had interests in other topics of plasma science--one example is the area of atomic processes in high temperature plasmas--and we strongly encourage proposals for collaboration in non-fusion areas.

Active Collaborations at Alcator

The presently active collaborations at C-Mod are as follows:

  • Princeton Plasma Physics Lab – Areas of joint work with PPPL include ICRF heating and current drive, Lower Hybrid Current Drive, diagnostics, and modeling. In the RF area, Princeton has provided additional hardware for 4 MW of tunable sources, and has designed and built a 4-strap antenna for heating and current drive applications. PPPL has also played a leading role in the design and construction of the wave-guide array launcher for the Lower Hybrid Project. PPPL personnel are also involved in diagnostics, along with theory and modeling in the areas of core transport, MHD, edge/divertor, ICRF and LHRF. Key participants presently include Joel Hosea, Charles Kessel, Gerrit Kramer, David Mikkelsen, Cynthia Phillips, Steve Scott, Randy Wilson, and Stewart Zweben.
  • University of Texas, Austin – Work with the University of Texas group emphasizes fluctuations and transport, and involves diagnostics associated with the Diagnostic Neutral Beam, along with ECE upgrades. Participation of the IFS in theory and modeling rounds out this effort. Key Texas personnel in the collaboration include Bill Rowan and Perry Phillips.
  • University of Alaska – Internal transport barrier dynamics (D. Newman)
  • University of California, San Diego, Center for Energy Research – Divertor/edge theory, modeling, coordinated SOL transport studies (S. Krasheninnikov, G. Antar)
  • C.E.A. Cadarache – X-Ray imaging diagnostics, lower hybrid modeling (Y. Peysson)
  • Chalmers University, Sweden – Resistive MHD modeling (A. Bondeson, T. Fulop)
  • Colorado School of Mines – Charged particle detection (F.E. Cecil)
  • C.R.P.P. Lausanne – MDSplus
  • UKAEA-Culham – MHD, Rotation theory (J. Hastie, H.Wilson, P. Helander)
  • Dartmouth University Transport modeling (B. Rogers)
  • DIII-D – Coordinated SOL/divertor studies, ICRF physics, dimensionless similarity studies, confinement physics, density limit studies, pedestals, MDSplus (P. Stangeby, R. Pinsker, J. Deboo, C. Petty, R. Groebner, R. Moyer, P. Snyder, F. Perkins)
  • Ecole Royale Militaire, Brussels – ICRF modeling (M. Evrard, J. Ongena)
  • IGI Padua – X-ray tomography, MDSplus, Diagnostic Neutral Beam, CXRS (P. Franz, P. Martin, M. Valisa)
  • IPP Greifswald -- Divertor modeling (X. Bonnin)
  • IPP Garching – ICRF heating, ICRF modeling, high Z first wall studies, dimensionless similarity studies, coordinated SOL transport studies, transport modeling (R. Neu, A. Kallaenbach, D. Hartmann, J.-M. Noterdaeme, M. Brambilla, W. Suttrop, Mertens, K. Hallatschek)
  • JET – Similarity studies, modeling, edge physics, coordinated EDA studies, coordinated wall recycling and SOL radial transport studies, MDSplus (G. Cordey, J. Christenesen, T. Hender, G.T.A. Huysmans, S. Lisgo, G. Matthews, G. Maddison, G. Saibene)
  • JT60-U – Lower Hybrid current drive modeling, edge probe studies, disruption studies, impurity sources and penetration, SOL radial transport and wall recycling (S. Ide, R. Yoshino, Y. Nakamura, Y. Neyatani, T. Nakano, N. Asakura)
  • Keldysh Institute – Atomic physics and radiation transport (V. Novikov, Barob'ev)
  • KFA Jülich– Rotation modeling, plasma-neutral interactions (A. Rogister, D. Reiter)
  • Lawrence Livermore National Lab – Atomic physics and radiation transfer, transport and divertor studies (P. Beiersdorfer, K. Fournier, H. Scott, A. Wan, R. Cohen, M. May, W. Nevins, X.Q. Xu)
  • Lehigh University – Transport modeling, pedestal scaling (G. Bateman, A. Kritz, T. Onjun)
  • Lodestar – Transport RF, and divertor modeling (D. D’Ippolito, J. Myer)
  • Los Alamos National Lab – Visible/IR imaging diagnostics, wall power loading, disruption studies (G. Wurden).
  • University of Maryland –Transport, H-Mode thresholds, density limits (W. Dorland, J. Drake , P. Guzdar)
  • NIFS/LHD – Impurity studies, diagnostics, atomic physics, MDSplus (N. Noda, Y. Yamauchi, B. Peterson, H. Funaba, T. Kato)
  • NSTX – ELM studies (R. Maingi)
  • Oak Ridge National Lab – Neutrals and H-Mode threshold theory and modeling, RF modeling (L. Owens, E. D'Azevado, E.F. Jaeger); ICRF technology and diagnostics (R. Goulding, P. Ryan)
  • Sandia National Lab Albuquerque – Advanced divertors (M. Ulrickson, R. Nygren)
  • University of Toronto – Edge modeling (P. Stangeby, D. Elder)


People to contact in the C-Mod group for further information:

Members of the Alcator group can be reached by fax at 617-253-0627. Our mailing address is:

MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Typical procedure to initiate a collaboration

Initiating a collaboration is simple. Prospective collaborators should contact any of the people on the above list to discuss ideas for new collaborations.
Collaboration Policy Agreement 





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