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Ion velocity analysis of rotating structures in a magnetic linear plasma device

Abstract : The MISTRAL device is designed to produce a linear magnetized plasma column. It has been used a few years ago to study a nonlinear low frequency instability exhibiting an azimuthal number m = 2. By changing the experimental configuration of MISTRAL, this work shows experimental results on an m = 1 rotating instability with strongly different behavior. The spatio-temporal evolution of the ion velocity distribution function given by a laser-induced fluorescence diagnostic is measured to infer the radial and azimuthal velocities, ion fluxes, and electric fields. The naive image of a plasma exhibiting a global rotation is again invalidated in this m = 1 mode but in a different way. Contrary to the m = 2 mode, the rotation frequency of the instability is lower than the ion cyclotron frequency and ions exhibit a complex behavior with a radial outward flux inside the unstable arm and azimuthal ion fluxes always directed toward the unstable arm. The azimuthal ion velocity is close to zero inside the ionization region, whereas the radial ion velocity grows linearly with radius. The radial electric field is oriented inward inside the unstable arm and outward outside. An axial velocity perturbation is also present, indicating that contrary to the m = 2 mode, the m = 1 mode is not a flute mode. These results cannot be easily interpreted with existing theories.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 11:58:16 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 8:21:00 AM

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N. Claire, A. Escarguel, C. Rebont, F. Doveil. Ion velocity analysis of rotating structures in a magnetic linear plasma device. Physics of Plasmas, American Institute of Physics, 2018, 25 (6), pp.061203. ⟨10.1063/1.5019448⟩. ⟨hal-02103315⟩

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