Scientific Priorities/Capabilities

The three overarching mission elements of the NSTX-U Program are:

  1. Advance the ST as a potential Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF)

  2. Develop solutions for the Plasma Material Interface (PMI) challenge

  3. Explore unique ST parameter regimes to advance predictive capability

In support of these missions, five high priority research goals for NSTX-U were developed in the last 5 year plan for 2014-18:

  1. Demonstrate 100% non-inductive current sustainment at performance that extrapolates to ≥ 1MW/m2 neutron wall loading in ST-based FNSF

  2. Develop and understand non-inductive start-up and ramp-up (i.e. current overdrive) to project to ST-FNSF with small or no solenoid

  3. Develop and utilize high-flux-expansion “snowflake” divertors and radiative detachment for mitigating high heat flux

  4. Begin to assess high-Z plasma facing components (PFCs) and liquid lithium to develop high-duty-factor integrated PMI solutions

  5. Access reduced collisionality and high-beta combined with varied q and rotation to dramatically extend ST understanding

To aid in formulation of your experimental ideas, a brief overview of NSTX-U milestones, expected operational capabilities, provisional schedules, forum scope, and key operational tools (particle control and NBI) is provided here.

Much more extensive descriptions of research goals and priorities for the first 1-2 years of NSTX-U operation were presented at NSTX-U PAC-35, and you are encouraged to read the PAC presentations to assist your idea preparation. Beware that some of the dates in the PAC presentations are now inaccurate, and more up-to-date estimated schedules are provided here and will also be updated during the Forum plenary session on the first day of the Forum.

Please visit the Science Groups page for more information on the current NSTX-U scientific organization, and visit individual Topical Science Group and Task Force (TSG / TF) pages for information on the specific topical research areas covered by each group, and to view the group goals.

Experimental proposals supporting successful achievement of FES notable outcomes, Joint Research Targets, and NSTX-U Research Milestones for FY2015 (and 2016) will be given high priority in the 2015 run campaign. Detailed descriptions of these milestones are provided here.

The expected facility and diagnostic status (subject to change) for the FY2015 research campaign was documented extensively at Pre-Forum meetings, and the presentations from the second meeting describing the expected status are provided here.

The Topical Science Groups held extensive discussions to identify early experiments needed to commission NSTX-U (~first run month) and to cover early operations (~2nd run month). To view the topics of those discussions, please refer to Pre-Forum meeting 2 and the associated presentations.