Section: New Results

Full wave modeling of lower hybrid current drive in tokamaks

Participants : Pierre Bertrand, Takashi Hattori, Simon Labrunie, Jean Rodolphe Roche.

This work is performed in collaboration with Yves Peysson (DRFC, CEA Cadarrache). Since September 2012 this work is included in the ANR CHROME.

The aim of this project is to develop a finite element numerical method for the full-wave simulation of electromagnetic wave propagation in plasma. Full-wave calculations of the LH wave propagation is a challenging issue because of the short wave length with respect to the machine size. In the continuation of the works led in cylindrical geometry, a full toroidal description for an arbitrary poloidal cross-section of the plasma has been developed.

Since its wavelength λ at the LH frequency is very small as compared to the machine size R, a conventional full wave description represents a considerable numerical effort.Therefore, the problem is addressed by an appropriate mathematical finite element technique, which incorporates naturally parallel processing capabilities. It is based on a mixed augmented variational (weak) formulation taking account of the divergence constraint and essential boundary conditions, which provides an original and efficient scheme to describe in a global manner both propagation and absorption of electromagnetic waves in plasmas.

With such a description, usual limitations of the conventional ray tracing related to the approximation λ<<φ B <<R, where φ B is the size of the beam transverse to the rf power flow direction, may be overcome. Since conditions are corresponding to λ<<φ B R, the code under development may be considered as a WKB full wave, dielectric properties being local.

This formulation provides a natural implementation for parallel processing, a particularly important aspect when simulations for plasmas of large size must be considered.

The domain considered is as near as possible of the cavity filled by a tokomak plasma. Toroidal coordinates are introduced. In our approach we consider Fourier decomposition in the angular coordinate to obtain stationary Maxwell equations in a cross-section of the tokamak cavity.

A finite element method is proposed for the simulation of time-harmonic electromagnetic waves in a plasma, which is an anisotropic medium. The approach chosen here is sometimes referred to as full-wave modeling in the literature: the original Maxwell's equations are used to obtain a second order equation for the time-harmonic electric field. These are written in a weak form using a augmented variational formulation (AVF), which takes into account the divergence. The variational formulation is then discretized using modified Taylor-Hood (nodal) elements.

During 2012 we have developed a domain decomposition method and a new behavior of the plasma density was considered in the code "FullWaveFEM". A analyze of the model considered, existence and unicity of solution, equivalence of the formulation for the domain decomposition formulation was completed in the frame of Takashi Hattori Phd thesis.