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The research on advanced plasma imaging and dynamics (RAPID) device is a newly developed linear electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma device. It has a variety of axial magnetic field profiles provided by eight water-cooled magnetic coils and two dc power supplies. The positions of the magnetic coils are freely adjustable along the axial direction and the power supplies can be operated with many combinations of electrical wiring to the coils. A 6 kW 2.45 GHz magnetron is used to produce steady-state ECR plasmas with central magnetic fields of 875 and/or 437.5 G (second harmonic). The cylindrical stainless steel vacuum chamber is 300 mm in diameter and 750 mm in length and has eight radial and ten axial ports including 6-in. and 8-in. viewing windows for heating and diagnostics. Experimental observation of ECR plasma heating has been recently carried out during the initial plasma operation. The main diagnostic systems including a 94 GHz heterodyne interferometer, a high-resolution 25 channel one-dimensional array spectrometer, a single channel survey spectrometer, and an electric probe have been also prepared. The RAPID device is a flexible simulator for the understanding of tokamak edge plasma physics and new diagnostic system development. In this work, we describe the RAPID device and initial operation results.