Research Lines

Ion Cyclotron Resonance Frecuency Heating of Fusion Plasmas

This research lines investigates the use of electromagnetic waves in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies for plasma heating and current drive in fusion devices.

It is is one of the main heating and current drive methods in the present day machines and also foreseen for ITER.

Fast Ions in Fusion Plasmas

This research line studies the production and the behaviour of fast ions in fusion plasmas. Understanding the fast ion behaviour is of key importance for the next step fusion reactor ITER where the plasma heating will be dominated by fusion-born alpha particles. Alpha particles are fast 3.5-MeV Helium-4 ions born in the fusion reactions between deuterons and tritons which form the fusion fuel.

The research efforts in the field of fast ion physics are directed towards enhancing the modeling capabilities of such fast ions in fusion devices for improved physics understanding and performance optimization. Special emphasis is given to the modeling of fast ions heated with waves in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies and their interactions with a variety of plasma instabilities.

Non-Linear MHD in Fusion Plasmas

This research line focuses on the modelling of pellet injection into the fusion plasma which is one of the promising methods for mitigation of Edge Localized Modes (ELMs) in ITER. ELMs are magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) instabilities at the plasma boundary.

It studies the pellet triggered ELMs using large parallel plasma simulations with the non-linear extended MHD code JOREK on world top500 supercomputers such as the BSC in-house supercomputer MareNostrum (Spain), Helios (Japan) and Marconi-Fusion (Italy).

HPC for Multiphysics Modelling of Fusion Reactors

This research line develops a new HPC tool for multiphysics modelling of fusion reactors based on the state-of-the-art parallel computational mechanics code system ALYA that has been developed for more than 10 years at the Department of Computer Applications in Science and Engineering (BSC-CASE), Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Spain.

ALYA has two main features. Firstly, it is designed for running with the highest efficiency standards in large scale supercomputing facilities. Secondly, it is capable of solving different physics, each one with its own model characteristics, in a coupled way. A good efficiency for more than 100,000 cores and 4.2 billion elements meshes has been demonstrated.

The aim of this research line is to provide the fusion research community with a cutting-edge computational tool for addressing complex multiphysics problems both in existing and future fusion devices. It has potential to become a driver for future fusion reactor design given its HPC capabilities which make the analysis of different design variations feasible.

Fusion Materials Modelling

This is a relatively new research line which focuses on the modelling of fusion materials using the BigDFT code based on the Density Functional Theory (DFT) using linear scaling algorithms which allow to tackle much larger physical problems than has been possible so far.

The goal is to optimize and demonstrate the performance of BigDFT for metallic systems relevant for fusion material research. Such simulations are very involved and are expected to have a large impact on fusion materials research.