Friday, May 24, 2013

1305.5477 (Yaman Güçlü et al.)

A high order cell-centered semi-Lagrangian scheme for multi-dimensional
kinetic simulations of neutral gas flows

Yaman Güçlü, William N. G. Hitchon
The term `Convected Scheme' (CS) refers to a family of algorithms, most usually applied to the solution of Boltzmann's equation, which uses a method of characteristics in an integral form to project an initial cell forward to a group of final cells. As such the CS is a `forward-trajectory' semi-Lagrangian scheme. For multi-dimensional simulations of neutral gas flows, the cell-centered version of this semi-Lagrangian (CCSL) scheme has advantages over other options due to its implementation simplicity, low memory requirements, and easier treatment of boundary conditions. The main drawback of the CCSL-CS to date has been its high numerical diffusion in physical space, because of the 2$^{\text{nd}}$ order remapping that takes place at the end of each time step. By means of a Modified Equation Analysis, it is shown that a high order estimate of the remapping error can be obtained a priori, and a small correction to the final position of the cells can be applied upon remapping, in order to achieve full compensation of this error. The resulting scheme is 4$^{\text{th}}$ order accurate in space while retaining the desirable properties of the CS: it is conservative and positivity-preserving, and the overall algorithm complexity is not appreciably increased. Two monotone (i.e. non-oscillating) versions of the fourth order CCSL-CS are also presented: one uses a common flux-limiter approach; the other uses a non-polynomial reconstruction to evaluate the derivatives of the density function. The method is illustrated in simple one- and two-dimensional examples, and a fully 3D solution of the Boltzmann equation describing expansion of a gas into vacuum through a cylindrical tube.
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