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Authors: Ullmann, Til
Title: The influence of flow shear on drift-wave interactions in the stellarator TJ-K
Issue Date: 2021 Dissertation 119
Abstract: The investigation of the interaction between shear flows and turbulence in magnetically confined fusion plasmas is motivated by the fact that shear flows can lead to a reduction or even suppression of the turbulent transport to the vessel wall. Thus they can significantly improve the performance of future nuclear fusion power plants. Therefore, in this thesis the influence of stationary background shear and time-dependent zonal flows on the wave interactions was investigated. The turbulence-generated zonal flows not only have the character of a shear flow, but in turn extract energy from the turbulence, while they themselves do not contribute to the transport of particles to the outside. Due to this special property, the dependence of this energy transfer on the background shearing rate was investigated experimentally. Because of its low-temperature plasmas, the stellarator experiment TJ-K offers the possibility of measuring the dynamics even within the confinement area by invasive diagnostics, such as Langmuir probes. This way, the tilting of turbulent eddy structures could be related to the background shear. The Reynolds stress, as a measure for the tilting, is linearly dependent on the shearing rate. Since the energy transfer between zonal flows and turbulence is composed of the product of the Reynolds stress and the background shear, a quadratic dependence of the energy transfer on the shearing rate was expected and here experimentally confirmed. In addition, the energy transfer between turbulence and zonal flows also led to a redistribution of the spectral power in favor of the zonal flows from ≈ 5% up to ≈ 40% of the total power for increasing shearing rate. In the picture of drift-wave turbulence, the non-linearity of the dynamics is reflected in three-wave interaction. The drift waves follow resonance conditions in the wavenumber and frequency space, which in turn are linked by the dispersion relation so that not all couplings are allowed. This defined coupling space is also called the resonant manifold. Theoretical considerations by Gürcan assumed that shear flows cause the coupling space of the nonlinear three-wave interaction to contract. Experimentally, this behavior could now be demonstrated on the basis of the shear-character of time-dependent zonal flows using the method of time-resolved wavenumber-frequency bicoherence. Here, it was shown that the effective coupling space actually shrinks with the occurrence of the shear flow and expands again with the decay of the zonal flow. The results in this thesis show that E×B background shear flows, as they occur during the transition from low to highly confined fusion plasmas, can trigger turbulence-driven zonal flows, whose Reynolds stress drive was initiated by a mean tilt of the vortex structure. At the same time, shear flows can restrict the coupling space of drift waves and thus increase the importance of large-scale structures, in particular e.g. zonal flows that do not contribute to turbulent transport, as possible energy sinks. If the shear flows are zonal flows themselves, self-amplification can become effective.
Appears in Collections:04 Fakultät Energie-, Verfahrens- und Biotechnik

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