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polarimeter plasma injector

High-bandwidth polarimeter for a high density, accelerated spheromak

Abstract
A three-beam heterodyne polarimeter has been built to diagnose the PI-1 plasma injector at General Fusion, Inc. The polarimeter measures plasma density and Faraday rotation, which can provide estimates of magnetic field magnitude and direction. Two important calibration steps are required for the polarimeterto produce reasonable Faraday rotation signals. Beam polarization ellipticity must be measured to ensure there is a linear Faraday rotation response. In addition, the two beams travelling through the plasma must be collinear to reduce error due to differences in plasma density. Once calibrated, the Faraday rotationsignals are in much better agreement with other diagnostics. For a null signal, the Faraday rotationmeasurement noise floor is 0.1° at 0.5 MHz bandwidth. Comparing preliminary spheromak Faraday rotation measurements to a model, the maximum error is about 0.3° at 0.5 MHz bandwidth, which is primarily due to electrical noise during the injector’s capacitor discharge and limitations of the model. At a bandwidth of 0.5 MHz, the polarimeter has an axial resolution between 6 cm and 30 cm depending on the speed of the spheromak, which varies between 30 km/s and 150 km/s. The spheromak length ranges from 0.75 m to 2 m. Additional polarimeter chords will be added in future upgrades.

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“High-bandwidth polarimeter for a high density, accelerated spheromak
Carle, Patrick J. F. and Howard, Stephen and Morelli, Jordan, Review of Scientific Instruments, 84, 083509 (2013), DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4819307”

This article appeared in Review of Scientific Instruments 84 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4819307
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