Virtual Institute

Plasma Dynamical Processes and Turbulence Studies using Advanced Microwave Diagnostics

Scientific Aims

The Virtual Institute is positioned between fundamental research on plasma dynamics (which have relevance to a wide range of topics), the focused exploration of turbulence in fusion plasmas, and the development of novel microwave-based diagnostics for such investigations (which possess inherent advantages for application on future fusion devices).

Through the VI, together with our partners from different fields in universities and research centres, it will become possible to found a unique and internationally outstanding centre of competence for microwave technologies and their application to the investigation of plasma dynamical processes.

Plasma dynamical processes are important not only for fusion but play a key role also in extra-terrestrial and astrophysical research. Fruitful collaborations between these fields have already started on the theoretical side where simulation codes developed for fusion research are applied to astrophysical problems. The experimental testing of the code models can be performed on high-temperature plasmas in existing fusion experiments, and this will be intensified within the VI. This automatically involves addressing key questions such as understanding turbulent transport and transport barriers.

To develop the required microwave diagnostics for these investigations, major electro-technically-oriented university institutes are included as partners. Know-how on the application of these diagnostics, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the experimental data, are also contributed by experts from the international partners.

Microwave based diagnostics, such as radar or reflectometry, are among the few options for observing and controlling thermo-nuclear plasmas in future fusion experiments since the metallic waveguides and components employed can withstand the neutron irradiation. Thus an important spin-off of the VI will be the development of novel microwave instruments and diagnostic concepts meeting the needs of future fusion devices

 In short, the Virtual Institute aims to:

  1. Advance:

     * Physics: The understanding of turbulence and turbulent transport

     * Hardware: The development of diagnostic tools for plasmas

  2. Join expertise from different scientific areas:

     * Experimental Plasma Physics

     * Turbulence Modelling

     * Microwave Technology

     * Microwave Simulations

  3. Form a European centre of excellence in these fields


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Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stroth

Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik
Bolzmannstrasse 2
D-85748 Garching



Dr. Garrard Conway