The transient internal probe (TIP) diagnostic is a novel method for probing the interior of hot magnetic fusion plasmas. In the TIP scheme, a probe is fired, using a two-stage light gas gun, through a hot plasma at velocities up to 5 km/s, and makes direct, local measurements of the internal magnetic field structure. The data are relayed to the laboratory optical detection system using an incident laser that is directed through a Faraday rotator payload acting as a magneto-optic sensor. Ablative effects are avoided by minimizing the probe size, limiting the time that the probe is in the hot plasma, and encasing the probe with a diamond cladding. The degree to which the diamond probe cladding is susceptible to ablative effects will determine the plasma density and temperature regime in which the TIP diagnostic can be used. If the TIP suffers significant ablation it is an indication that the diagnostic is not usable on this hot and dense of a plasma (or that greater velocity must be imparted to the probe to further minimize the time that it is in the plasma). A quantitative experimental study of the ablation rates of diamond is planned as part of the TIP development. The integrated TIP system will be functional in 1992 and installed on the Helicity Injected Torus (HIT) [T. R. Jarboe, Fusion Tech. 15, 9 (1989)] at the University of Washington.
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