Nonlinear three-dimensional verification of the SPECYL and PIXIE3D magnetohydrodynamics codes for fusion plasmas

Bonfiglio, D.; Chacón, L.; Cappello, S.
August 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2010, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p082501
Academic Journal
With the increasing impact of scientific discovery via advanced computation, there is presently a strong emphasis on ensuring the mathematical correctness of computational simulation tools. Such endeavor, termed verification, is now at the center of most serious code development efforts. In this study, we address a cross-benchmark nonlinear verification study between two three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (3D MHD) codes for fluid modeling of fusion plasmas, SPECYL [S. Cappello and D. Biskamp, Nucl. Fusion 36, 571 (1996)] and PIXIE3D [L. Chacón, Phys. Plasmas 15, 056103 (2008)], in their common limit of application: the simple viscoresistive cylindrical approximation. SPECYL is a serial code in cylindrical geometry that features a spectral formulation in space and a semi-implicit temporal advance, and has been used extensively to date for reversed-field pinch studies. PIXIE3D is a massively parallel code in arbitrary curvilinear geometry that features a conservative, solenoidal finite-volume discretization in space, and a fully implicit temporal advance. The present study is, in our view, a first mandatory step in assessing the potential of any numerical 3D MHD code for fluid modeling of fusion plasmas. Excellent agreement is demonstrated over a wide range of parameters for several fusion-relevant cases in both two- and three-dimensional geometries.


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