DSMC/PIC-MC simulation software

DSMC / PIC-MC Simulationssoftware
© Fraunhofer IST

The DSMC/PIC-MC simulation software developed by Fraunhofer IST sets itself apart with an efficient parallelisation schema. All runtime components, including the electric and magnetic field solvers, are parallel implementations. This permits the distribution of the computing load for the gas flow and plasma simulation to any networked computer systems with no bottlenecks. Here a distribution algorithm automatically ensures the optimum utilisation of the CPU resources being used.

Local variations of the computing load across several magnitudes, for instance in case of nozzle flows or glow discharges, can be compensated through dynamic cell resolution and particle weighting known as multiscale approaches. Multiscale approaches and parallelisation support demanding simulation tasks, such as the three-dimensional simulation of magnetron discharges on an industrial scale.

Geometry modelling with finite-element meshes is another special feature of the DSMC/PIC-MC simulation software. Here the finite-element meshes are modelled directly on the regular computational grid of the simulation space. This adequately approximates the model contours without having to give up the efficiency of the regular computational grid. Any CAD program (GMSH, Solid Edge™, Autodesk™ and so on) that supports common output formats such as STEP or IGES can be used for geometry modelling.

Predefined input masks are defined from the finite-element meshes and the simulation parameters are established in these. Possible input errors such as an insufficient cell resolution or time step size are caught by an automatic consistency check. The DSMC/PIC-MC simulation software is subject to ongoing further development in order to ensure its reliability, efficiency and user friendliness.

Software specifications

Specification Implementation Comments
Supports Linux OS – all distributions (Debian, SUSE etc.)
GNU g++ compiling
No Windows support; planned for the near future
Parallelisation of all runtime components
Domain decomposition; MPI process communication
Supports the release of resources with Grid Scheduler
Electric field solver
(PIC-MC only)
Taylor Extrapolation Method (TEX); iterative solution via Successive Over Relaxation (SOR) Quasi-stationary solution approach; not suitable for plasma simulation in the microwave range
Magnetic field solver
(PIC-MC only)
Boundary Element Method (BEM); direct solution via Gaussian elimination method
Stationary solution approach for permanent magnet arrangements (magnetrons, DC magnetic coils)
Geometry modelling with finite-element meshes
Cut face calculation for triangular elements in a regular grid
Mesh generation with GMSH open source software
Import interface for external CAD files
Use of the GMSH import interface
GMSH supports common CAD file formats (IGES, STEP etc.)
Multiscale approaches
Dynamic cell resolution and particle weighting
Automatic adaptation at runtime in planning
Database with cross sections
Fit functions for literature sources and experimental data
Data for complex molecules (Alq3, HMDSO, CH4 etc.) still need to be validated