Electrostatic ion-cyclotron wave experiments in the WVU Q machine
The influence of transverse, localized, DC electric fields (TLEs) on the current-driven electrostatic ion-cyclotron (CDEIC) instability is being investigated in a Q machine. A small (diameter approximately 10 ion gyroradii) segmented disk electrode is being used to excite the mode in a narrow electron-current channel along which exists a radial electric field between regions that magnetically map to the different circular segments (separated by a radial gap of approximately 3 ion gyroradii). Experiments aimed at demonstrating a TLE dependence in the threshold current for mode excitation are described. A comparison of observed and predicted mode frequencies over a range of magnetic field strengths is presented for the benchmark case of no applied transverse electric field. When the electric field is present, ion-cyclotron fluctuations are observed for cases in which the current is below the CDEIC instability threshold.