Analysis of RF Heating of Fusion Plasmas Using the Delta-f Particle-In-Cell (DFPIC) Method
Critical to the US fusion program is the ability to assess the efficacy of radio frequency (RF) heating and current drive in fusion plasmas. At present, the primary means of assessment is through use of full-wave codes, which assume linearity and quasi-local plasma response. Still needed are computational methods for addressing: (1) nonlinear effects, which are especially strong near the RF antennas, and (2) the effects caused by the fact that the curvature of particle orbits can be large. To address these needs, this project will apply df PIC methods to toroidal plasmas, in order to develop analysis methods that apply to low frequency (ion time scale) phenomena. The simulations will be compared with numerical results from existing applications, in domains where both are applicable. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new methods should bring a new computational capability to DOE researchers, providing a new impetus to the development of fusion energy.
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