Here we report on efforts to improve performance and longevity of the Neutral Beam Injection (NBI) system by initiating a R&D program aimed at studying the most common failure mechanism for the ion sources. To this end a filament driven plasma chamber has been constructed with plasma parameters similar to the arc chamber of NBI ion sources. A preliminary report of an investigation into the most common failure is presented here: The failure mechanism observed during helium operations on DIII-D is the result of electrical breakdown of the insulation material that separates the filament plates from the anode. The fault is reproduced in a table top experiment analogous to the DIII-D NBI ion source in key parameters and proposals for amelioration of the issue are discussed.
- Ion source
- Neutral beams