Use of intrinsic hysteresis for the active control of internal transport barriers in magnetically confined fusion plasmas Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2023

start page

  • 052505-1

end page

  • 052505-8


  • 5, 052505


  • 30

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1070-664X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1089-7674


  • In magnetically confined fusion devices, control of internal transport barriers (ITBs) is important both to enhance and suppress the turbulent transport to improve confinement control. Barrier control should allow for the improvement of confinement to aid in achieving the needed fusion criteria while also permitting the degradation of confinement to control profiles and clean the device by moving out the impurities accumulated near the core. In this work, we present a novel control scenario that takes advantage of the hysteresis intrinsic to transport barriers to easily cycle through enhanced and degraded confinement regimes. The control scenario is illustrated using a five-field simplified transport model for an ITB using typical parameters of a neutral beam injection-heated DIII-D tokamak discharge. Pellets and ion cyclotron resonance frequency power are used as control knobs for this active control scenario. These knobs adequately modify at will the local gradients and, therefore, the growth rates and shearing rates, allowing for easy and efficient control of the barrier by taking advantage of the barrier hysteresis. The result is a control cycle that could be operated with a relatively small amount of power in high performance regimes which, nowadays, typically require large power to control. It may also have advantages to avoid, or at least ameliorate, the appearance of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in the barrier region.


  • Physics