Publications / SAND Report

Development, Implementation, and Verification of Partially-Ionized Collisional Multifluid Plasma Models in Drekar

Crockatt, Michael M.; Shadid, John N.

We consider the development of multifluid models for partially ionized multispecies plasmas. The models are composed of a standard set of five-moment fluid equations for each species plus a description of electromagnetics. The most general model considered utilizes a full set of fluid equations for each charge state of each atomic species, plus a set of fluid equations for electrons. The fluid equations are coupled through source terms describing electromagnetic coupling, ionization, recombination, charge exchange, and elastic scattering collisions in the low-density coronal limit. The form of each of these source terms is described in detail, and references for required rate coefficients are identified for a diverse range of atomic species. Initial efforts have been made to extend these models to incorporate some higher-density collisional effects, including ionization potential depression and three- body recombination. Some reductions of the general multifluid model are considered. First, a reduced multifluid model is derived which averages over all of the charge states (including neutrals) of each atomic species in the general multifluid model. The resulting model maintains full consistency with the general multifluid model from which it is derived by leveraging a quasi-steady-state collisional ionization equilibrium assumption to recover the ionization fractions required to make use of the general collision models. Further reductions are briefly considered to derive certain components of a single-fluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model. In this case, a generalized Ohm's law is obtained, and the standard MHD resistivity is expressed in terms of the collisional models used in the general multifluid model. A number of numerical considerations required to obtain robust implementations of these multifluid models are discussed. First, an algebraic flux correction (AFC) stabilization approach for a continuous Galerkin finite element discretization of the multifluid system is described in which the characteristic speeds used in the stabilization of the fluid systems are synchronized across all species in the model. It is demonstrated that this synchronization is crucial in order to obtain a robust discretization of the multifluid system. Additionally, several different formulations are considered for describing the electromagnetics portion of the multifluid system using nodal continuous Galerkin finite element discretizations. The formulations considered include a parabolic divergence cleaning method and an implicit projection method for the traditional curl formulation of Maxwell's equations, a purely- hyperbolic potential-based formulation of Maxwell's equations, and a mixed hyperbolic-elliptic potential-based formulation of Maxwell's equations. Some advantages and disadvantages of each formulation are explored to compare solution robustness and the ease of use of each formulation. Numerical results are presented to demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of various components of our implementation. Analytic solutions for a spatially homogeneous damped plasma oscillation are derived in order to verify the implementation of the source terms for electromagnetic coupling and elastic collisions between fluid species. Ionization balance as a function of electron temperature is evaluated for several atomic species of interest by comparing to steady-state calculations using various sets of ionization and recombination rate coefficients. Several test problems in one and two spatial dimensions are used to demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the discretization and stabilization approach for the fluid components of the multifluid system. This includes standard test problems for electrostatic and electromagnetic shock tubes in the two-fluid and ideal shock-MHD limits, a cylindrical diocotron instability, and the GEM challenge magnetic reconnection problem. A one-dimensional simplified prototype of an argon gas puff configuration as deployed on Sandia's Z-machine is used as a demonstration to exercise the full range of capabilities associated with the general multifluid model.