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Kinetic particle simulations in a global toroidal geometry

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The gyrokinetic toroidal code has been upgraded for global simulations by coupling the core and scrape-off layer regions across the separatrix with field-aligned particle-grid interpolations. A fully kinetic particle pusher for high frequency waves (ion cyclotron frequency and beyond) and a guiding center pusher for low frequency waves have been implemented using cylindrical coordinates in a global toroidal geometry. The two integrators correctly capture the particle orbits and agree well with each other, conserving energy and canonical angular momentum. As a verification and application of this new capability, ion guiding center simulations have been carried out to study ion orbit losses at the edge of the DIII-D tokamak for single null magnetic separatrix discharges. The ion loss conditions are examined as a function of the pitch angle for cases without and with a radial electric field. The simulations show good agreement with past theoretical results and with the experimentally observed feature in which high energy ions flow out along the ion drift orbits and then hit the divertor plates. A measure of the ion direct orbit loss fraction shows that the loss fraction increases with the ion energy for DIII-D in the initial velocity space. Finally, as a further verification of the capability of the new code, self-consistent simulations of zonal flows in the core region of the DIII-D tokamak were carried out. All DIII-D simulations were performed in the absence of turbulence.

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