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The Australian National University
EIF Upgrade Annual Report 2011-2012

EIF Upgrade Annual Report 2011-2012

The Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility (the Facility) is being upgraded under the Super Science Initiative Scheme, announced in the 2009-10 Federal Budget.  

All upgrade project milestones in the Annual Business Plan for this year were met. Some were brought forward, some delayed, and the upgrade is on schedule overall.  These include:
The Materials Diagnostic Facility has been relocated to an upgraded laboratory adjacent to the H-1 power systems, to allow dual use of Facility RF and magnet power, and to provide adequate space for future instruments and diagnostics.
‘MAGPIE’, the prototype materials device in the Facility, is already well used, and has achieved high plasma densities in argon and hydrogen.  First experiments have been very successful, including studies of plasma and wave profiles, material interactions, and Doppler coherence imaging of temperature and plasma flow.
The upgrade to the H-1 radiofrequency plasma heating system, and the new cooled antenna have been commissioned and successfully operated in H-1 over a wide range of power, element phasing and frequency.  In early tests, almost half the maximum power has been coupled into H-1. 
Completion of the database of magnetic configurations to include finite pressure effects, and a demonstration of remote operation from Sydney (ANSTO).
A third magnetic field control parameter has been implemented and integrated into the control system increasing the range of configurations available to H-1.
A new multichannel plasma density interferometer, initially seven channels, and ultimately 18 channels, has replaced the previous 3 channel and the swept interferometers, providing continuous data streams across the plasma profile.
An issue of significant concern is the anticipated funding hiatus extending at least until 2015.  Efforts are underway to obtain bridging operational funding minimise loss of expertise and Facility access.

All upgrade project milestones in the Annual Business Plan for this year were met. Some were brought forward, some delayed, and the upgrade is on schedule overall.  These include:

The Materials Diagnostic Facility has been relocated to an upgraded laboratory adjacent to the H-1 power systems, to allow dual use of Facility RF and magnet power, and to provide adequate space for future instruments and diagnostics.

‘MAGPIE’, the prototype materials device in the Facility, is already well used, and has achieved high plasma densities in argon and hydrogen.  First experiments have been very successful, including studies of plasma and wave profiles, material interactions, and Doppler coherence imaging of temperature and plasma flow.

The upgrade to the H-1 radiofrequency plasma heating system, and the new cooled antenna have been commissioned and successfully operated in H-1 over a wide range of power, element phasing and frequency.  In early tests, almost half the maximum power has been coupled into H-1. 

Completion of the database of magnetic configurations to include finite pressure effects, and a demonstration of remote operation from Sydney (ANSTO).

A third magnetic field control parameter has been implemented and integrated into the control system increasing the range of configurations available to H-1.

A new multichannel plasma density interferometer, initially seven channels, and ultimately 18 channels, has replaced the previous 3 channel and the swept interferometers, providing continuous data streams across the plasma profile.

An issue of significant concern is the anticipated funding hiatus extending at least until 2015.  Efforts are underway to obtain bridging operational funding minimise loss of expertise and Facility access.

Research Highlights
Excitation of MHD modes by injection several hundred watts into a two element phased array antenna has been demonstrated.  This provides another means for a controlled systematic study of modes, which previously has been limited to the modes that happen to be generated by the plasma.    
A simple means of controlling the size of magnetic islands in H-1 has been found, using a set of three external magnetic field coils.
The first plasma-material interaction experiments have been performed on the Materials Diagnostic Development Facility device “MAGPIE” in collaboration with ANSTO, showing 
C-H formation with carbon targets, and blistering on tungsten alloy targets.
In the first application of Doppler coherence imaging techniques to helicon plasma, complex plasma flows have been discovered in magnetic field gradient regions of the MAGPIE device.
Upgrade Highlights
The Materials Diagnostic Development Facility including the MAGPIE device was relocated in a purpose-built laboratory and has achieved high plasma density very close to the target of 1019m-3 for hydrogen and well in excess of that for argon.
The new radio frequency heating system and cooled antenna has been commissioned and has produced plasma parameters well in excess of the previous system. New features, including programmable frequency, power and phase have all been exploited and power levels of 180kW have been achieved into hydrogen plasma.
A seven channel plasma density interferometer, to be upgraded soon to 18 channels has replaced the previous 3 channel and the swept interferometers, providing continuous data streams across the plasma profile.
Several upgraded diagnostics, including the multi channel interferometer, dedicated spectral line impurity monitor with spatial resolution, and 80 channel magnetic probe array have been fully integrated into the data system, automatically providing data on very pulse.

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Updated:  06 July 2014/Responsible Officer:  H-1 Facility Manager /Page Contact:  H-1 Website Administrator