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Rathgeber, Sylvia (2013): Electron temperature and pressure at the edge of ASDEX Upgrade plasmas: estimation via electron cyclotron radiation and investigations on the effect of magnetic perturbations. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics



Understanding and control of the plasma edge behaviour are essential for the success of ITER and future fusion plants. This requires the availability of suitable methods for assessing the edge parameters and reliable techniques to handle edge phenomena, e.g. to mitigate 'Edge Localized Modes' (ELMs) --- a potentially harmful plasma edge instability. This thesis introduces a new method for the estimation of accurate edge electron temperature profiles by forward modelling of the electron cyclotron radiation transport and demonstrates its successful application to investigate the impact of Magnetic Perturbation (MP) fields used for ELM mitigation on the edge kinetic data. While for ASDEX Upgrade bulk plasmas, straightforward analysis of the measured electron cyclotron intensity spectrum based on the optically thick plasma approximation is usually justified, reasonable analysis of the steep and optically thin edge region relies on full treatment of the radiation transport considering broadened emission and absorption profiles. This is realized in the framework of integrated data analysis which applies Bayesian probability theory for joint analysis of the electron density and temperature with data of different independent and complementary diagnostics. The method reveals that in regimes with improved confinement ('High-confinement modes' (H-modes)) the edge gradient of the electron temperature can be several times higher than that of the radiation temperature. Furthermore, the model is able to reproduce the 'shine-through' peak --- the observation of increased radiation temperatures at frequencies with cold resonance outside the confined plasma region. This phenomenon is caused by strongly down-shifted radiation of Maxwellian tail electrons located in the H-mode edge region and, therefore, contains valuable information about the electron temperature edge gradient. The accurate knowledge about the edge profiles and gradients of the electron temperature and --- including the density information --- the electron pressure allows a detailed study of plasma edge phenomena like ELMs or the transition from 'Low-confinement mode' (L-mode) to H-mode. It is shown how the application of non-axisymmetric MP fields acts on the edge profiles of electron temperature, density and pressure in H-modes with type-I and mitigated ELMs and during the L-H transition. Compared to type-I ELMs, mitigated ELMs tend to occur at higher edge densities, lower edge temperatures and reduced edge pressure gradients. This parameter regime can be achieved by strong gas fuelling. MP fields might support ELM mitigation by shifting the threshold between type-I and small ELMs towards slightly higher edge temperatures. The application of MPs in L-modes results in a degradation of the pressure gradient due to increased heat transport. At the L-H transition, the pressure gradient and the radial electric field shearing seem to exhibit the same value with and without MPs, while its required heating power is increased in the presence of MPs.