An asymptotic Grad-Shafranov equation for quasisymmetric stellarators

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A first-order model is derived for quasisymmetric stellarators where the vacuum field due to coils is dominant, but plasma-current-induced terms are not negligible and can contribute to magnetic differential equations, with β of the order of the ratio of induced to vacuum fields. Under these assumptions, it is proven that the aspect ratio must be large and a simple expression can be obtained for the lowest-order vacuum field. The first-order correction, which involves both vacuum and current-driven fields, is governed by a Grad-Shafranov equation and the requirement that flux surfaces exist. These two equations are not always consistent, and so this model is generally overconstrained, but special solutions exist that satisfy both equations simultaneously. One family of such solutions are the first-order near-axis solutions. Thus, the first-order near-axis model is a subset of the model presented here. Several other solutions outside the scope of the near-axis model are also found. A case study comparing one such solution to a VMEC-generated solution shows good agreement.

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