Chinese antennas will heat ASDEX-U

At the Chinese Institute of Plasma Physics ASIPP, a second ICRF heating antenna is packed and ready to be delivered to the ASDEX Upgrade Tokamak in Germany after passing the necessary factory acceptance tests late February.

The ICRF antenna—for Ion Cyclotron Range of Frequencies—was examined and accepted by a three-member team from the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) headed by Helmut Fuenfgelder during a visit from February 25 to 27.

According to an agreement between the two institutions, ASIPP has designed and manufactured two ICRF heating antennas with 2MW maximum heating power and 36.5 MHz operation frequency. The first antenna, delivered to IPP in June, 2013, is now being mounted to ASDEX-U following on-site acceptance in Garching, Germany.

Helmut Fuenfgelder expressed his satisfaction with the quality of the second antenna to the ASIPP team led by Song Yuntao. „The first antenna was very good, and this one is even better.”

According to Yang Qingxi, the 35-year-old Responsible Official for the system, the design and manufacture of the two ICRF antennas was „arduous and tortuous” due to their complicated structure and demanding technical specifications, as well as sophisticated engineering techniques and limited time. The challenging task was successfully brought to conclusion through strong teamwork within ASIPP (between the High Power Microwave Technology Division, the Tokamak Design Division and the ASIPP Workshop) and also through a large number of R&D tests on welding techniques and a special curve-shaped surface forming process.

Dozens of video discussions took place throughout the development process with IPP colleagues. The second antenna will arrive at its new home in Garching in a couple of weeks.