Analysis of RF Heating of Fusion Plasmas Using the Delta-f Particle-In-Cell (DFPIC) Method
The ability to assess the efficacy of radiofrequency heating and current drive in fusion plasmas is critical to the US fusion program. At present, the primary means of assessment is through use of full wave codes that assume linearity and quasi-local plasma response. Needed are computational methods for addressing the effects caused by the curvature of particle orbits. The proposed project will include the development and application of new computational methods to toroidal plasmas, with the goal of analyzing low-frequency (ion time scale) phenomena. These new capabilities will be used to create a clearer understanding of plasma heating in a tokamak core. Studies of multiple pass resonance of particles and banana orbits, which contribute to the effectiveness of radiofrequency heating, will be performed and made available to the fusion research community. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: New capabilities of the particle-in-cell code will raise the profile of the code and contribute to increased sales. For example, commercial plasma applications in the semiconductor industry and applications of plasma-based satellite thrusters may benefit from the proposed work. Also, improvements in plasma heating made possible by simulations with the new code have the potential to yield enormous dollar savings for ITER experiments by supporting more efficient planning of experiments.
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