2012 Volume 7 Pages 2402020
Electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) is an attractive tool for controlling plasmas. In the large helical device (LHD), ECCD experiments have been performed by using an EC-wave power source, gyrotron, with a frequency of 84 GHz. The maximum driven current was ∼9 kA with 100 kW injection power to plasma and 8s duration of EC-wave pulse. These years, high-power and long-pulse 77 GHz gyrotrons were newly installed. An ECCD experiment with 775 kW injection power was performed. The 77 GHz waves of 8 s pulse duration sustained the plasmas. The EC-wave beam direction was scanned toroidally, keeping the beam direction aiming at the magnetic axis in X-mode polarization. In spite of the change in the EC-wave beam direction, plasma parameters such as the line-average electron density, the central electron temperature and the plasma stored energy were kept nearly the same values for the discharges, ∼0.3×1019 m−3, ∼3 keV and ∼30 kJ, except for the plasma current. The plasma current showed a systematic change with the change in the beam direction for ECCD, and at an optimum direction with N// ∼ −0.3, the plasma current reached its maximum, ∼40 kA. Also, current drive efficiency normalized with density and power was improved by 50% compared with that at the former 84 GHz ECCD experiment.