Tomographic reconstruction of the runaway distribution function in TCV using multispectral synchrotron images

TCV team, EUROfusion MST1 Team, T.A. Wijkamp (Corresponding author), A. Perek, J. Decker, B. Duval, M. Hoppe, G. Papp, U.A. Sheikh, I.G.J. Classen, R.J.E. Jaspers

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Synchrotron radiation observed in a quiescent Tokamak Configuration Variable (TCV) runaway discharge is studied using filtered camera images targeting three distinct wavelength intervals. Through the tomographic simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART) procedure the high momentum, high pitch angle part of the spatial and momentum distribution of these relativistic particles is reconstructed. Experimental estimates of the distribution are important for verification and refinement of formation-, decay- and transport-models underlying runaway avoidance and mitigation strategy design. Using a test distribution it is demonstrated that the inversion procedure provides estimates accurate to within a few tens of percent in the region of phase-space contributing most to the synchrotron image. We find that combining images filtered around different parts of the emission spectrum widens the probed part of momentum-space and reduces reconstruction errors. Next, the SART algorithm is used to obtain information on the spatiotemporal runaway momentum distribution in a selected TCV discharge. The momentum distribution is found to relax towards an avalanche-like exponentially decaying profile. Anomalously high pitch angles and a radial profile increasing towards the edge are found for the most strongly emitting particles in the distribution.Pitch angle scattering by toroidal magnetic field ripple is consistent with this picture. An alternative explanation is the presence of high frequency instabilities in combination with the formation of a runaway shell at the edge of the plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046044
Number of pages16
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© EURATOM 2021.


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme633053


    • 2D spectroscopy
    • runaway electrons
    • SOFT
    • synchrotron radiation
    • TCV
    • tokamak
    • tomographic inversion


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