Center for Extended Magnetohydrodynamic Modeling Cooperative Agreement

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The Center for Extended Magnetohydrodynamic Modeling (CEMM) is developing computer simulation models for predicting the behavior of magnetically confined plasmas. Over the first phase of support from the Department of Energy’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) initiative, the focus has been on macroscopic dynamics that alter the confinement properties of magnetic field configurations. The ultimate objective is to provide computational capabilities to predict plasma behavior—not unlike computational weather prediction—to optimize performance and to increase the reliability of magnetic confinement for fusion energy. Numerical modeling aids theoretical research by solving complicated mathematical models of plasma behavior including strong nonlinear effects ... continued below

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Sovinec, Carl R. February 15, 2008.

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The Center for Extended Magnetohydrodynamic Modeling (CEMM) is developing computer simulation models for predicting the behavior of magnetically confined plasmas. Over the first phase of support from the Department of Energy’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) initiative, the focus has been on macroscopic dynamics that alter the confinement properties of magnetic field configurations. The ultimate objective is to provide computational capabilities to predict plasma behavior—not unlike computational weather prediction—to optimize performance and to increase the reliability of magnetic confinement for fusion energy. Numerical modeling aids theoretical research by solving complicated mathematical models of plasma behavior including strong nonlinear effects and the influences of geometrical shaping of actual experiments. The numerical modeling itself remains an area of active research, due to challenges associated with simulating multiple temporal and spatial scales. The research summarized in this report spans computational and physical topics associated with state of the art simulation of magnetized plasmas. The tasks performed for this grant are categorized according to whether they are primarily computational, algorithmic, or application-oriented in nature. All involve the development and use of the Non-Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics with Rotation, Open Discussion (NIMROD) code, which is described at http://nimrodteam.org. With respect to computation, we have tested and refined methods for solving the large algebraic systems of equations that result from our numerical approximations of the physical model. Collaboration with the Terascale Optimal PDE Solvers (TOPS) SciDAC center led us to the SuperLU_DIST software library [http://crd.lbl.gov/~xiaoye/SuperLU/] for solving large sparse matrices using direct methods on parallel computers. Switching to this solver library boosted NIMROD’s performance by a factor of five in typical large nonlinear simulations, which has been publicized as a success story of SciDAC-fostered collaboration. Furthermore, the SuperLU software does not assume any mathematical symmetry, and its generality provides an important capability for extending the physical model beyond magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). With respect to algorithmic and model development, our most significant accomplishment is the development of a new method for solving plasma models that treat electrons as an independent plasma component. These ‘two-fluid’ models encompass MHD and add temporal and spatial scales that are beyond the response of the ion species. Implementation and testing of a previously published algorithm did not prove successful for NIMROD, and the new algorithm has since been devised, analyzed, and implemented. Two-fluid modeling, an important objective of the original NIMROD project, is now routine in 2D applications. Algorithmic components for 3D modeling are in place and tested; though, further computational work is still needed for efficiency. Other algorithmic work extends the ion-fluid stress tensor to include models for parallel and gyroviscous stresses. In addition, our hot-particle simulation capability received important refinements that permitted completion of a benchmark with the M3D code. A highlight of our applications work is the edge-localized mode (ELM) modeling, which was part of the first-ever computational Performance Target for the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Science, see http://www.science.doe.gov/ofes/performancetargets.shtml. Our efforts allowed MHD simulations to progress late into the nonlinear stage, where energy is conducted to the wall location. They also produced a two-fluid ELM simulation starting from experimental information and demonstrating critical drift effects that are characteristic of two-fluid physics. Another important application is the internal kink mode in a tokamak. Here, the primary purpose of the study has been to benchmark the two main code development lines of CEMM, NIMROD and M3D, on a relevant nonlinear problem. Results from the two codes show repeating nonlinear relaxation events driven by the kink mode over quantitatively comparable timescales. The work has launched a more comprehensive nonlinear benchmarking exercise, where realistic transport effects have an important role.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/54668-7
  • Grant Number: FC02-02ER54668
  • DOI: 10.2172/928212 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928212
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc900704

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  • February 15, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Jan. 8, 2018, 3:18 p.m.

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Sovinec, Carl R. Center for Extended Magnetohydrodynamic Modeling Cooperative Agreement, report, February 15, 2008; Madison, Wisconsin. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc900704/: accessed September 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.