Controlling the bias error of Fokker- Planck methods for rarefied gas dynamics simulations

Direct simulation Monte-Carlo (DSMC) is the most established method for rarefied gas flow simulations. It is valid from continuum to near vacuum, but in cases involving small Knudsen numbers (Kn), it suffers from high computational cost. The Fokker-Planck (FP) method, on the other hand, is almost as accurate as DSMC for small to moderate Kn, but it does not have the computational drawback of DSMC, if Kn is small [P. Jenny, M. Torrilhon, and S. Heinz, “A solution algorithm for the fluid dynamic equations based on a stochastic model for molecular motion,” J. Comput. Phys. 229, 1077–1098 (2010) and H. Gorji, M. Torrilhon, and P. Jenny, “Fokker–Planck model for computational studies of monatomic rarefied gas flows,” J. Fluid Mech. 680, 574–601 (2011)]. Especially attractive is the combination of the two approaches leading to the FP-DSMC method. Opposed to other hybrid methods, e.g., coupled DSMC/Navier-Stokes solvers, it is relatively straightforward to couple DSMC with the FP method since both are based on particle solution algorithms sharing the same data structure and having similar components. Regarding the numerical accuracy of such particle methods, one has to distinguish between spatial truncation errors, time stepping errors, statistical errors and bias errors. In this paper, the bias error of the FP method is analyzed in detail, and it is shown how it can be reduced without increasing the particle number to an exorbitant level. The effectiveness of the discussed bias error reduction scheme is demonstrated for uniform shear flow, for which an analytical reference solution was derived.

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Physics of Fluids, 31
Jun 12 2019

 Record created 2019-06-17, last modified 2019-06-25

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