Sustained fusion reaction requires the fusion fuel to have a temperature of over 10 keV. In magnetic confinement devices, this hot plasma is insulated from the wall of the device by a magnetic field; however, cleaning the plasma of impurities relies on remanent convective transport processes. These transport processes tend to impose transient heat and fast particle loads on the plasma limiting components. Mitigation and control of these transients have been a priority research area for decades, and with the increase of the size of fusion machines, it has recently become urgent to find a reliable and reproducible operation scenario.
The numerical models of transient transport at the plasma edge have started to show quantitative agreement with measurements only recently (e.g., the JOREK non-linear MHD code). The detailed comparison of simulations and experiments, however, poses serious challenges. One of these challenges is the stochastic nature of the non-linear transport phenomena, which necessitates a large number of events both from simulations and experiments. Another one is the evaluation of the relevant measurements: these measurements are pushing the limits of the diagnostic methods, and precise evaluation requires the physics simulation of the measurement process itself. These detailed measurement simulation codes are called “synthetic diagnostics”.
The PhD student will acquaint himself/herself with the diagnostic methods capable of detecting edge plasma fluctuations and will subsequently develop associated synthetic diagnostics and use these in code validation and scenario development tasks. Synthetic diagnostic development will concentrate on diagnostic methods utilizing the visible light detectors within the CHERAB plasma modelling framework and, more specifically, on diagnostics involving emissions of atomic beams. The PhD student will also participate in the actual measurement campaigns at ASDEX-Upgrade, MAST-Upgrade, COMPASS, JT60-SA or other collaborating fusion plasma devices.
Advanced level English, basic plasma physics and basic programming skills are required.