Synthetic aperture microwave imaging with active probing for fusion plasma diagnostics

Synthetic aperture microwave imaging with active probing for fusion plasma diagnostics

Synthetic aperture microwave imaging with active probing for fusion plasma diagnostics 150 150 Mathew

Synthetic aperture microwave imaging with active probing for fusion plasma diagnostics

A Synthetic Aperture Microwave Imaging (SAMI) system has been designed and built to obtain 2-D images at several frequencies from fusion plasmas. SAMI uses a phased array of linearly polarised antennas. The array configuration has been optimised to achieve maximum synthetic aperture beam efficiency. The signals received by antennas are down-converted to the intermediate frequency range and then recorded in a full vector form. Full vector signals allow beam focusing and image reconstruction in both real time and a post-processing mode. SAMI can scan over 16 pre-programmed frequencies in the range of 10-35GHz with a switching time of 300ns. The system operates in 2 different modes simultaneously: both a 'passive' imaging of plasma emission and also an 'active' imaging of the back-scattered signal of the radiation launched by one of the antennas from the same array. This second mode is similar to so-called Doppler backscattering (DBS) reflectometry with 2-D resolution of the propagation velocity of turbulent structures. Both modes of operation show good performance in fusion plasma experiments on Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST). We have obtained the first ever 2-D images of BXO mode conversion windows. With active probing, first ever turbulence velocity maps have been obtained. We present an overview of the diagnostic and discuss recent results. In contrast to quasi-optical microwave imaging systems SAMI requires neither big aperture viewing ports nor large 2-D detector arrays to achieve the desired imaging resolution. The number of effective 'pixels' of the synthesized image is proportional to the number of receiving antennas squared. Thus only a small number of optimised antennas is sufficient for the majority of applications. Possible implementation of SAMI on ITER and DEMO is discussed.

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01/09/2014