The Plasma Science and Innovation Center

PSI - Center

Project Overview

Moqui (2D) simulation of the translated FRX-L FRC (by Dr. R. D. Milroy).


The Plasma Science and Innovation or PSI-Center will refine present computational tools with sufficient physics, boundary conditions, and geometry to be calibrated with experiments to achieve predictive capabilities. Two 3D codes - NIMROD and MH4D - will be used.

The PSI-Center's primary objective is to develop predictive capability for "EC-level" experiments, so that one can design and model new experiments in fusion science and in other areas of plasma science, but without actual construction. The PSI-Center will emphasize physics that may extend beyond the standard analysis nowadays applied to the mainline programs. This specifically includes strong flow effects, kinetic effects, reconnection and relaxation phenomena, transport, atomic physics, radiation, FLR effects, two-fluid or Hall physics, proper boundary conditions, proper geometry, and other physics that must be included in models to achieve the needed predictability. All of these effects are also important in mainline fusion devices, but one or more tend to dominate effects in particular EC configurations, which makes those effects particularly amenable to EC study with existing diagnostics. The goal of the PSI-Center is to capture the dominant effects of many different EC experiments, covering most of EC physics. Thus, general predictability for ECs is possible with no one EC having a complete diagnostic set. As more physics becomes tractable, diagnostics can become even more focused on the intractable. Some of the phenomena, like the Hall effect and kinetic effects, are higher frequency than can be practically calculated from first principles, and for them the saturated effects of critical high frequency phenomena need to be determined and formulated to accurately give the long-term effects, and yet be numerically tractable.

Five key physics issues have been identified for developing unified and comprehensive modeling capabilities for EC experiments. They are:

1. Two fluid / Hall physics

2. Kinetic and FLR effects

3. Reconnection, relaxation physics

4. Transport, atomic physics, and radiation

5. Boundary conditions and geometry

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Utah State University