The aim of experimentation on ASDEX Upgrade is to clarify the behaviour of a magnetically confined tokamak plasma and numerically describe it. This applies particularly to the motion of particles in the magnetic cage, the stability of the plasma, and the exhaust of plasma and impurity particles into the divertor.
On the one hand, this involves more fundamental investigation and improvement of known modes of operation, as envisaged for ITER. On the other hand, new, more powerful operation scenarios for ITER, DEMO, and future fusion power plant are to be developed, viz. plasmas with higher energy content, improved stability, and longer pulse time.
The topics treated in ASDEX Upgrade include:
- particle and energy transport in the plasma, plasma turbulence
- divertor studies and power exhaust
- investigation of plasma instabilities
- development of optimised plasma scenarios that reconcile high plasma density and high plasma pressure with moderate edge instabilities
- testing of theoretical models in respect of divertor physics, turbulence, and plasma transport
- studies of wall materials
The ASDEX Upgrade device is particularly suited to these experiments by virtue of the power-plant-like geometry, the tungsten-clad vessel wall, and the powerful, flexible plasma heating. Its quality index P/R of 15 megawatts per square metre, i.e. the heating power P in relation to the plasma radius R, puts ASDEX Upgrade closer to ITER than all other devise world-wide.