The star thrust experiment, rotating magnetic field current drive in the field reversed configuration
Miller, Kenneth Elric
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The Star Thrust Experiment (STX) has formed and sustained the Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) with a Rotating Magnetic Field (RMF) operated at a strength of 25 G and a frequency of 350 kHz. The RMF was generated with two IGBT switched solid state power supplies capable of delivering 2 MW each. Plasmas were typically 2 m long by 0.2m in radius and consisted of fully ionized deuterium at temperatures of 60 eV and peak densities of 5 x 1018m- 3. The primary diagnostic was an extremely small 24 channel berylia jacketed internal magnetic probe that was used to make measurements as a function of time, radius, and axial position. These measurements when combined with the FRC's unique geometry and equilibrium relationships determined many other important plasma parameters. Axial confining fields of 100 G maintained a true vacuum boundary around the plasma and allowed for the study of FRC RMF equilibrium interactions. Key findings are that the RMF maintained a near zero separatrix pressure, penetrated only partially, and drove strong radial and axial flows. Issues discussed include the importance of the RMF driving an axial current distribution consistent with that of the FRC, possible benefits of varying the average beta condition, and potential RMF antenna length limits set by the tendency of driven axial flows to screen the RMF from the plasma.