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Microwave beam broadening due to turbulent plasma density fluctuations


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Title Microwave beam broadening due to turbulent plasma density fluctuations
Author Köhn, Alf
Guidi, Lorenzo
Holzhauer, Eberhard
Maj, Omar
Poli, Emanuele
Snicker, Antti
Weber, Hannes
License CC Attribution 3.0 Germany:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
DOI 10.5446/36093
Publisher University of Stuttgart
Release Date 2018
Language Silent film

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Subject Area Physics
Abstract Microwaves are widely used in fusion-relevant experiments for heating and diagnostic purposes. They suffer, however, from the problem that they have to traverse the plasma boundary, a region where substantial plasma density fluctuations are known to occur. This can significantly distort the beam and thus reduce heating efficiencies which rely on good localization of the injected microwaves (e.g. stabilization of neoclassical tearing modes). Geometrical-optics tools cannot be used to describe the interaction of the small-scale plasma density turbulence and the microwave. Instead, full-wave codes can be used which do not rely on any simplifying assumptions concerning the density variations. Here, we present a full-wave simulation (using the FDTD code IPF-FDMC) of a microwave beam with a frequency of 50 GHz injected onto a plasma with a linearly increasing background density (colour-coded in the video). A layer of turbulent plasma density has been added to, as can be seen from the video. Plotted is also the time-evolution of the absolute value of the wave electric field (the microwave is injected from the right-hand side).
Keywords scattering of electromagnetic radiation
Magnetized plasma
Electromagnetic waves
Plasma turbulence
Finite-difference time-domain methods


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