Advanced Simulations of Plasma Microturbulence at the Petascale and Beyond

PI Name: 
William Tang
PI Email: 
wtang@princeton.edu
Institution: 
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Allocation Program: 
INCITE
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
8 Million
Year: 
2011
Research Domain: 
Physics

This INCITE project on advanced Particle-in-Cell (PIC) global simulations of plasma microturbulence at the petascale and beyond will build on the excellent progress achieved in our previous INCITE project completed in 2010. Major accomplishments have included the successful development of the radial domain decomposition capability in our modern PIC code -- GTC-P code. This enables unprecedented efficiency for examination of the scaling of turbulent transport spanning the range from present generation experiments to the large ITER-scale plasmas. Optimal use has been made of the previously awarded run time on the Blue-Gene-P LCF in FY2008--2010 to help achieve our targeted research objectives. Overall, this current INCITE Project is well-positioned to move forward during FY2011 with: (1) to capture new physics insights into the key question of how turbulent transport and associated confinement characteristics scale from present generation laboratory plasmas to the much larger ITER-scale burning plasmas; (2) the implementation of the radial domain decomposition feature into the more realistic GTS code and porting it to the Intrepid system; and (3) the development and incorporation of new diagnostic capabilities to efficiently analyze the large volume of new simulation results from these studies. With regard to the computational approach, our utilization of the hybrid (Open MP/MPI) algorithm along with the radial decomposition in GTC-P will further improve efficiency and load balance over that of the code run with MPI alone. The superior capability enabled by the successful implementation of the radial decomposition feature in GTC-P will be further demonstrated in systematic production run studies of plasmas ranging up to ITER-scale devices. Overall, the progress and experience from our previous INCITE project gives us great confidence that we will be able to effectively utilize the requested allocation on the Intrepid LCF requested for FY2011-2013 to carry out advanced kinetic simulations with unprecedented resolution in a multi-dimensional phase-space to deliver scientific results appropriate for “path to petascale” grand challenges.