Simulation of cold magnetized plasmas with the 3D electromagnetic software CST Microwave Studio®
Laboratory for Plasma Physics, ERM/KMS, EUROfusion Consortium Member, TEC Partner, Brussels, Belgium,
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Published online: 23 October 2017
Detailed designs of ICRF antennas were made possible by the development of sophisticated commercial 3D codes like CST Microwave Studio® (MWS). This program allows for very detailed geometries of the radiating structures, but was only considering simple materials like equivalent isotropic dielectrics to simulate the reflection and the refraction of RF waves at the vacuum/plasma interface. The code was nevertheless used intensively, notably for computing the coupling properties of the ITER ICRF antenna. Until recently it was not possible to simulate gyrotropic medias like magnetized plasmas, but recent improvements have allowed programming any material described by a general dielectric or/and diamagnetic tensor. A Visual Basic macro was developed to exploit this feature and was tested for the specific case of a monochromatic plane wave propagating longitudinally with respect to the magnetic field direction. For specific cases the exact solution can be expressed in 1D as the sum of two circularly polarized waves connected by a reflection coefficient that can be analytically computed. Solutions for stratified media can also be derived. This allows for a direct comparison with MWS results. The agreement is excellent but accurate simulations for realistic geometries require large memory resources that could significantly restrict the possibility of simulating cold plasmas to small-scale machines.
© The authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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