We are developing a proposal for the exploitation of DIII-D to pursue frontier and discover science. The idea is to execute studies that may provide significant advances in US plasma science research beyond the usual remit of the DIII-D fusion energy oriented path. An initial trial week is proposed in FY17 to gauge enthusiasm and assess effectiveness.

The goal of this effort is to deepen scientific understanding behind basic plasma processes. The focus will be on research lines outside of the fusion energy line. However, it is hoped this will lead to a cross fertilization with fusion research in terms of foundational understanding, exchange of ideas and potentially development of collaborations. It is also hoped that DIII-D will provide a distinctive capability to the discovery science community that enables significant advances that complement and add to what can be achieved.

Key features of proposed approach:

  • A limited trial with 1 week of run time, to test and learn from approach. Proceeding somewhat informally as test campaign. Possible follow up in later program years.
  • A university panel will advise on approach, scientific focus, and down-selection of recommended proposals to the DIII-D Director.
    • The panel is:
      • Fred Skiff, Troy Carter, Cary Forest, Greg Howes and Mark Koepke. Hantao Ji, John Sarff, Jan Egedal, Don Spong, Will Fox and Paolo Piovesan have joined the effort.
    • DIII-D technical experts will provide advice to the panel on facility capabilities, and we will generate a DIII-D capabilities document.
      • Bill Heidbrink, George McKee, Max Fenstermacher, Carlos Paz-Soldan, Al Hyatt, Rob La Haye, Auna Moser, Eric Hollman, Lucas Morton, Todd Evans, Cami Collins, Mike Van Zeeland, Jeremy Hanson, Alan Turnbull have agreed to help already.
  • Solicit experiments, to be submitted by end November 2016. ← ideas in but now defining more clearly through January.
    • Outreach to community from panel and DIII-D key experts
    • Brief announcement at APS UFA, lunchtime session for one on one consultations. link here
    • Panel down selects in December-Jan. Director approval. MP prep Feb-Mar.
  • DIII-D contact person for each experiment will help advise on how to develop shot plans, what machine is capable of doing and be “eyes and ears” for developments at DIII-D.
    • Also requires support from DIII-D team with provision of diagnostics and data.
  • Experiments should be clearly different from present DIII-D research, led by different research scientist with a non-fusion goal. E.g.: astrophysics, space physics, solar wind, radiation belt, reconnection physics, turbulence, Alfvénic.