Modelling the Alfvén eigenmode induced fast-ion flow measured by an imaging neutral particle analyzer

J. Gonzalez-Martin*, X. D. Du, W. W. Heidbrink, M. A. Van Zeeland, K. Särkimäki, A. Snicker, X. Wang, Y. Todo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


An imaging neutral particle analyzer (INPA) provides energy and radially resolved measurements of the confined fast-ion population ranging from the high-field side to the edge on the midplane of the DIII-D tokamak. In recent experiments, it was used to diagnose fast-ion flow in the INPA-interrogated phase-space driven by multiple, marginally unstable Alfvén eigenmodes (AEs). The key features of this measured fast-ion flow are: (I) a fast-ion flow from q min and the injection energy (81 keV) towards lower energies and plasma periphery.(II) A flow from the same location towards higher energies and the plasma core, (III) a phase-space 'hole' at the injected energy and plasma core and (IV) a pile-up at the plasma core at lower energies ( 1/460 keV). Ad hoc energetic particle diffusivity modelling of TRANSP significantly deviates from the observation. Comparably, a reduced modelling, i.e. a combination of NOVA-K and ASCOT5 code with the measured mode structure and amplitude, generally reproduce some key features of the observed phase-space flow, but largely failed to interpret fast ion depletion near the plasma axis. At last, self-consistent, first-principle multi-phase hybrid simulations that include realistic neutral beam injection and collisions are able to reproduce most features of the time-resolved phase-space flow. During consecutive hybrid phases, an RSAE consistent with the experiment grows and saturates, redistributing the injected fast ions. The resulting synthetic INPA images are in good agreement with the measurement near the injection energy. The simulations track the fast-ion redistribution within the INPA range, confirming that the measured fast-ion flow follows streamlines defined by the intersection of phase-space surfaces of constant magnetic moment μ and constant E′ = nE + ωP φ, where n and ω are the instability toroidal mode number and frequency, and E and P φ the ion energy and toroidal canonical momentum. Nonperturbative effects are required to reproduce the depletion of fast ions near the magnetic axis at the injection energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112003
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Alfvénic instabilities
  • fast ion flow
  • imaging neutral particle analyzer


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