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Title: Partnership for Edge Physics Simulation (EPSI)

We propose to develop advanced simulation codes, based upon an extreme parallelism, first principles kinetic approach, to address the challenges associated with the edge region of magnetically confined plasmas. This work is relevant to both existing magnetic fusion facilities and essential for next-generation burning plasma experiments, such as ITER where success is critically dependent upon H-mode operation achieving an edge pedestal of sufficient height for good core plasma performance without producing deleterious large scale edge localized instabilities. The plasma edge presents a well-known set of multi-physics, multi-scale problems involving complex 3D magnetic geometry. Perhaps the greatest computational challenge is the lack of scale separation – temporal scales for drift waves, Alfven waves, ELM dynamics for example have strong overlap. Similar overlap occurs on the spatial scales for the ion poloidal gyro-radius, drift wave and pedestal width. The traditional approach of separating fusion problems into weakly interacting spatial or temporal domains clearly breaks down in the edge. A full kinetic model (full-f model) must be solved to understand and predict the edge physics including non-equilibrium thermodynamic issues arising from the magnetic topology (the open field lines producing a spatially sensitive velocity hole), plasma wall interactions, neutral and atomic physics. The planmore » here is to model these phenomena within a comprehensive first principles set of equations without the need for the insurmountable multiple-codes coupling issues by building on the XGC1 code developed under the SciDAC Proto-FSP Center for Plasma Edge Simulation (CPES). This proposal includes the critical participants in the XGC1 development. We propose enhancing the capability of XGC1 by including all the important turbulence physics contained in kinetic ion and electron electromagnetic dynamics, by extending the PIC technology to incorporate several positive features found in the Eulerian grid technology, combining the coarse grained XGC0 code into it with a multiscale projective time integration technique to be developed in the project for experimental time scale simulation of the edge multi-physics, and by implementing modern computational technologies to move forward with the extreme scale heterogeneous hardware/software platform development. Ultra-fast edge localized instabilities, involving compressional Alven modes, will be studied using a proper MHD or two-fluid codes employing kinetic closure information from XGC. The proposed research integrates the most important physical processes on overlapping temporal and spatial scales, to study (i) transitions and thresholds for enhanced confinement regimes, (ii) the predictive understanding of the edge pedestal formation, structure and dynamics, (iii) the effect of the edge plasma on the core confinement, (iv) the physics of Edge Localized Modes and their suppression or mitigation via external control techniques, and (v) the heat load on the material wall. Our approach will implement physical models that are valid in their relevant collisionality regimes for current experiments and future burning plasma devices. Comparisons with experimental data will be made at multiple levels including characterization of turbulence dynamics, flux-gradient responses in the energy, particle and momentum channels, and observations of global phenomena such as L-H transitions, momentum generation, ELM dynamics, ELM-free regimes and the tokamak density limit. The proposal team has established strong connections, through joint membership, with other organizations that will be critical for success. These include FASTMath, SUPER and QUEST Institutes respectively for meshing tools and solvers; code performance tuning and uncertainty quantification as well as a proposed Data Management and Visualization Institute.. We will also be teaming with ongoing fusion SciDAC’s: CSWPI for RF-edge plasmas interactions; CEMM for the M3D MHD simulations and with PEPSC for incorporation of energetic particle physics. Finally, the team includes representatives from each of the major U.S. experimental facilities who will coordinate the validation program and the development of synthetic diagnostics.« less
  1. California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States)
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Technical Report
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California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States