Journal article

A spectral global gyrokinetic approach to plasma linear microinstability analysis

With the term microinstabilities, we indicate a class of plasma drift waves such as the ion temperature gradient (ITG) mode, the trapped electron mode (TEM), and the electromagnetic Alfvenic ion temperature gradient (AITG) mode. They are usually driven by spatial gradients in the plasma and they are held responsible for anomalous transport and enhanced heat flux in tokamaks. Their understanding is therefore crucial for the development of magnetically confined plasma fusion devices. Our approach is based on the gyrokinetic model (Hahm 1988) for particle dynamics. The gyrokinetic nonlinear Vlasov equation, in the presence of an electromagnetic perturbation (Brizard 1989, 1995), is derived using Lie perturbation theory (Cary and Littlejohn 1983) to average out the fast particle motion around the gyrocenter. We have linearized the gyrokinetic Vlasov equation and added the quasi-neutrality equation and Ampere's law, providing closure to the system. A temporal spectral formulation is used, ensuring the absence of numerical instabilities due to high frequency modes. The equations are simplified with a large aspect ratio approximation for an axisymmetric toroidal configuration. The fields are expanded in a Fourier series in the three spatial directions (radial, poloidal, and toroidal) reducing the problem in a matrix form. The code EM-GLOGYSTO (Brunner et al. 1998; Falchetto et al. 2003; Joint Varenna-Lausanne International Workshop 2002) has been developed to look at its solutions. Recently, we have included in the model an electrostatic equilibrium potential in order to provide E x B sheared flow. The code has been optimized for running in a parallel environment using MPI routines, and it allows us to study frequencies, growth rates, and mode structures of electromagnetic microinstabilities. Results on an AITG mode are shown to illustrate these features.


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