AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
The mega-ampere spherical tokamak (MAST) experiment is a new, large, low aspect ratio device (R=0.7–0.8 m, a=0.5–0.65 m, maximum BT∼0.63 T at R=0.7 m) operating its first experimental physics campaign. Designed to study a wide variety of plasma shapes with up to 2 MA of plasma current with an aspect ratio down to 1.3, the poloidal field (PF) coils used for plasma formation, equilibrium and shaping are inside the main vacuum vessel. For plasma control and to investigate a wide range of plasma phenomena, an extensive set of magnetic diagnostics have been installed inside the vacuum vessel. More than 600 vacuum compatible, bakeable diagnostic coils are configured in a number of discrete arrays close to the plasma edge with about half the coils installed behind the graphite armour tiles covering the center column. The coil arrays measure the toroidal and poloidal variation in the equilibrium field and its high frequency fluctuating components. Internal coils also measure currents in the PF coils, plasma current, stored energy and induced currents in the mechanical support structures of the coils and graphite armour tiles. The latter measurements are particularly important when halo currents are induced following a plasma termination, for example, when the plasma becomes vertically unstable. The article describes the MAST magnetic diagnostic coil set and their calibration. The way in which coil signals are used to control the plasma equilibrium is described and data from the first MAST experimental campaign presented. These coil data are used as input to the code EFIT [L. Lao et al., Nucl. Fusion 25, 1611 (1985)], for measurement of halo currents in the vacuum vessel structure and for measurements of the structure of magnetic field fluctuations near the plasma edge. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
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