Section: New Results

Toward full MHD numerical modeling with C1 finite element.

Participants : José Costa, Giorgio Giorgiani, Hervé Guillard, Boniface Nkonga.

In this context the single fluid full MHD model is considered and the divergence free constraint on the magnetic field is achieved by introduction of a vector potential . The use of the vector potential has the additional advantage that the toroidal component is the magnetic flux of the Grad-Shafranov equilibrium. However, using the vector potential as variable introduces higher order derivatives in the system and classical C0 finite elements cannot be directly applied. This is why our finite element strategies uses shape/test functions whose derivatives have global continuity in space (smooth finite elements). The global approach uses cross product shape/test functions between poloidal(2D) and the Toroidal(1D). In the 2D poloidal plane, discretization uses either quadrangular or triangular elements. In order to derive efficient strategies for the full MHD in the vector potential formulation, the Gauge condition on the vector potential and the boundary conditions have been enforced by penalization. For the Gauge condition it gives rise to element contributions but also boundary integrals that should be computed on curved surfaces that sometime fitted the magnetic surfaces. Equations are formulated in semi-conservative form such as to apply integration by parts. Therefore, boundary conditions can be viewed as evolution of fluxes or variables. Integral formulation on the boundary is very useful for higher order finite elements and also easier for the treatment of corners. Indeed in this context the boundary conditions are edge/surfaces oriented and boundary corners are driven by the neighborhood edge penalization. This strategy is the one that will be used for future developments.

2D Quadrangular Cubic Bezier Finite Elements:

This finite element has been used for a while for reduced MHD models in the software Jorek. Reduced MHD uses the projection of the momentum equation in a space orthogonal to the equilibrium. When full MHD models are used, the momentum equation needs to be projected in the equilibrium space and this projection should be consistent with the Grad-Shafranov equilibrium that is used to compute the initial state. This has been achieved by a proper computation of the JxB contribution in the momentum equation, taking into account the poloidal variation of the toroidal component of the magnetic field. After a detailed analysis, we have performed this year some implementations and numerical validations. An Inria report is under preparation.

2D Triangular Powell-Sabin Finite Elements:

In order to avoid some mesh singularities when using quadrangular meshes for complex geometries and flux surfaces shapes, triangular elements are a possible option. It is not so easy to derive smooth finite elements on triangles with reduced number of degrees of freedom (ddl). The Bell reduced-quintic finite elements we have considered in the previous years have too many unknowns (6 per vertex). Powell-Sabin splines are piece-wise quadratic polynomials with a global C1-continuity and 3 unknowns per vertex, they have a local support, they form a convex partition of unity, they are stable, and they have a geometrically intuitive interpretation involving control triangles. Construction of the Powell-Sabin splines needs some geometrical tools that have been developed: Minimum area enclosing triangle of a set of control points (sequential and parallel). This construction is applied to each vertex of the triangular mesh and used to derive the local shape/test functions. These Powell-Sabin splines have been used successfully in the area of computer aided geometric design for the modeling and fitting of surfaces. We have used the Powell-Sabin (PS) splines for the approximation of elliptic partial differential equations (including Grad-Shafranov) in a rectangular domain. In this context, the optimal rate of convergence (order 3) has been recovered. This year, validations have been performed for hyperbolic 2D Euler equations with VMS stabilization. The context of the 3D toroidal geometries has been considered and implemented. Preliminary validations are satisfactory. An Inria report is also under preparation.