EIF Upgrade Annual Report 2012-2013
The upgrade of the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility under the Super Science Initiative Scheme is almost complete. The expected outcomes of this financial support are:
• Significant improvements to the plasma formation and heating systems, vacuum systems and plasma diagnostic and data systems.
• Enhanced accessibility of plasma data and diagnostic information.
• Dual use of heating, magnet supply and diagnostic systems with a new high power and high plasma density Materials Diagnostic Development Facility prototype (MAGPIE).
• The development of diagnostic tools, which it is hoped, will ultimately be installed on the international fusion experiment ITER. This is identified as a central plank of the “Strategy for Australian Fusion Science and Engineering” developed by the Australian ITER Forum in consultation with the Australian fusion community.
As a result of funding uncertainty, loss of a key staff member and other factors, agreement was reached to extend the time frame of the upgrade by six months. All of the adjusted milestones were met, including:
• ‘MAGPIE’, the prototype MAGnetised Plasma Interaction Experiment, was upgraded to its final form, including a new target holder.
• The final acceptance tests of the new radiofrequency plasma heating sources were successful including some site-specific modifications.
• The seven channel prototype electron density interferometer was upgraded to the full 21 channels, to provide profiles of density across the entire cross-section.
• A third magnetic field control parameter has been fully integrated into the control system increasing the range of configurations available to H-1.
• A glow discharge cleaning system has been installed to complement the pulsed discharge cleaning, to improve the vacuum quality of H-1.
• The high resolution imaging spectrometer system for measuring electron density and temperature profiles was enhanced by additional baffling and integrated into the data system.
Operational funding issues for FY 2013/14 and FY2014/15 have been resolved, initially by a promise of bridging support from the University, and ultimately by the allocation of funds in the 2013/14 budget for the operation of NCRIS Facilities over that period. While this allows us to retain operational and maintenance staff, as the upgrade approaches completion, we will regrettably lose the valuable services of three contract staff, who have done an excellent job.
The following document is the EIF Upgrade Annual Report 4 including research and other outputs. More detailed information on the Facility and research results will be contained in the EIF Final Report of the Infrastructure Upgrade, to appear shortly.