A diagnostic system based on the heavy ion beam probe technique has been developed for the Elmo Bumpy Torus. A variety of singly charged alkali metal ions have been used in the probing beam; detection of multiply charged reaction products allows a continuous spatially resolved monitor of the plasma space potential. Typical spatial resolution is 1 cm-3; time resolution is on the order of 1 s. The potential measurement is direct and properly referenced to the plasma ground. An investigation into possible sources of error in the measurement points to the conclusion that the uncertainty is an order of magnitude less than the experimentally measured potentials.
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