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Numerical and experimental investigations of a microwave interferometer for the negative ion source SPIDER

Agnello R.; Cavazzana R.; Furno I.; Jacquier R.; Pasqualotto R.; Sartori E.; Serianni G.

The electron density close to the extraction grids and the co-extracted electrons represent a crucial issue when operating negative ion sources for fusion reactors. An excessive electron density in the plasma expansion region can indeed inhibit the negative ion production and introduce potentially harmful electrons in the accelerator. Among the set of plasma and beam diagnostics proposed for SPIDER upgrade, a heterodyne microwave (mw) interferometer at 100 GHz is currently being explored as a possibility to measure electron density in the plasma extraction region. The major issue in applying this technique in SPIDER is the poor accessibility of the probing microwave beam through the source metal walls and the long distance of 4 m at which mw modules should be located outside the vacuum vessel. Numerical investigations in a full-scale geometry showed that the power transmitted through the plasma source apertures was above the signal-to-noise ratio threshold for the microwave module sensitivity. An experimental proof-of-principle of the setup to assess the possibility of signal phase detection was then performed. The microwave system was tested on an experimental full-scale test-bench mimicking SPIDER viewports accessibility constraints, including the presence of a SPIDER-like plasma. The outcome of first tests revealed that, despite the geometrical constraints, in certain conditions, the phase detection, and, therefore, electron density measurements are possible. The main issue arises from decoupling the one-pass signal from spurious multipaths generated by mw beam reflections, requiring signal cross correlation analysis. These preliminary tests demonstrate that despite the 4 m distance between the mw modules and the presence of metal walls, plasma density measurement is possible when the 80 mm diameter ports are available. In this contribution, we discuss the numerical simulations, the preliminary experimental tests and suggest design upgrades of the interferometric setup to enhance signal transmission.

ID 479292
DOI 10.1088/1748-0221/18/03/C03009
PRODUCT TYPE Journal Article
LAST UPDATE 2023-06-12T20:47:19Z
TITLE Implementation of activities described in the Roadmap to Fusion during Horizon 2020 through a Joint programme of the members of the EUROfusion consortium