MAST research updates
Updates from the MAST fusion experiment at Culham, including reports on research progress and machine enhancements.
MAST is now undergoing a major machine upgrade and will be back online in 2015. See the MAST Upgrade news page for latest information.
The 2013 experimental physics campaign on MAST (M9) has ended. The final day of operation was Friday 27 September, after which the MAST Upgrade shutdown began. MAST will now be offline until 2015 while the machine is upgraded.
The 2013 MAST physics campaign is underway. The machine restart proved more problematic than expected, due to a number of technical problems resulting from an extensive power outage in 2012. However, excellent progress has been made in the first period of operations.
MAST is being made ready for Campaign M9, the last run of plasma experiments before the MAST Upgrade shutdown begins in late 2013. Meanwhile preparations for the upgrade continue in the MAST complex, where machine components are being assembled.
Preparatory work for MAST Upgrade is being carried out in the MAST complex, including the trial installation of a new 50T crane and neutron shielding modifications. Alongside this, work will soon get underway to get MAST ready for its next set of experiments. The final MAST physics campaign before the Upgrade is expected to run from March to the summer of 2013.
A break in operations has allowed a variety of engineering and diagnostic tasks to be performed on MAST, in particular on the Neutral Beam Injection and Electron Cycotron Resonant Heating systems.
MAST's Campaign M8 has finished and an engineering break is underway. Thanks to improved diagnostics, Campaign M8 proved to be the most productive and successful MAST campaign to date.
The M8 experimental campaign has resumed after a month-long break to fix a fault with the solenoid coil connections. Despite this interruption, studies have been advancing in a range of fields.
MAST's 2011 experimental campaign is now well underway. Despite some technical problems and limited high power neutral beam heating operation, progress has been made in a number of areas.
MAST is now back in operation. Restart activities are almost complete and the main physics programme will soon be underway.
The engineering break to install new MAST diagnostics was completed and signed off at the end of November 2010. Commissioning began on 19 January and high power experiments are expected to restart in early May 2011.
MAST's engineering break is progressing well and is close to the original schedule. The engineering break is expected to finish in late November, with experiments resuming in early 2011.
First results have been gained from MAST's new neutron camera and the initial data looks promising. A new 2D beam emission spectroscopy system, developed in collaboration with RMKI Hungary, has also tested and delivered to Culham for installation. The facility is now in an engineering break until November 2010.
Recent experiments have exploited new systems for disruption mitigation and Thomson scattering. Work has continued to increase power from neutral beam heating injectors and improvements have been made to the system for excitation of Toroidal Alfven Eigenmodes.
Researchers have gained their first results using MAST's upgraded Thomson scattering diagnostic, and the first experiments have been conducted using a new disruption mitigation system. The current campaign has been extended until April 2010, when a major engineering break will start.
A range of new systems have been installed on MAST, including an improved Thomson scattering system and 28GHz gyrotron. Plasmas have restarted and the current experimental campaign will run until December 2009.
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