Versatile and Robust Three-Dimensional Software for Multi-Fluid Plasma Modeling

Period of Performance: 03/01/2012 - 11/30/2012


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave Suite A
Boulder, CO 80303
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Washington
Department of Aeronautics&Astronautics, Box 352250
Seattle, WA 98195
Institution POC


ABSTRACT: Tech-X Corporation in partnership with the University of Washington will develop a commercial tool for modeling multi-fluid and single fluid plasmas including the ability to model problems using unstructured grids. An oracle will be developed to inform the user of the validity of plasma models in the regime of a given simulation. Algorithms developed at the University of Washington (in WARPX) and at Tech-X (in Nautilus) will be built on a common underlying grid framework to facilitate algorithm portability. Variations of the discontinuous Galerkin method will be used as the hyperbolic solution technique. Charge conserving methods for the electric field will be improved to enhance algorithm robustness. Results will be tested on magnetic reconnection and field reversed configuration problems. BENEFIT: Currently there is very little in the way of commercial fluid plasma modeling codes, particularly for high temperature plasmas. This means that many in academics and industry must rely on academic codes that lack good interfaces and are difficult to use. Furthermore, many of the codes are not applicable to a broad range of problems or are target at a specific plasma regime. This severely limits the the efficiency with which modeling can be performed and reduces the ability of modeling to support product and experiment design. Ultimately Nautilus will target the pulsed power community, electric spacecraft propulsion, plasma processing and many weakly ionized plasma application including laser assisted combustion, plasma medicine and re-entry vehicle physics. The development of this tool has the potential to reduce the amount of time (and money) needed to bring effective plasma related products to the commercial world.