Long Characteristic Method in Space and Time for Transport Problems
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Discretization and solving of the transport equation has been an area of great research where many methods have been developed. Under the deterministic transport methods, the method of characteristics, MOC, is one such discretization and solution method that has been applied to large-scale problems. Although these MOC, specifically long characteristics, LC, have been thoroughly applied to discretize and solve transport problems in the spatial domain, there is a need for an equally adequate time-dependent discretization. A method has been developed that uses LC discretization of the time and space variables in solving the transport equation. This space-time long characteristic, STLC, method is a discrete ordinates method that applies LC discretization in space and time and employs a least-squares approximation of sources such as the scattering source in each cell. This method encounters the same problems that previous spatial LC methods have dealt with concerning achieving all of the following: particle conservation, exact solution along a ray, and smooth variation in reaction rate for specific problems. However, quantities that preserve conservation in each cell can also be produced with this method and compared to the non-conservative results from this method to determine the extent to which this STLC method addresses the previous problems. Results from several test problems show that this STLC method produces conservative and non-conservative solutions that are very similar for most cases and the difference between them vanishes as track spacing is refined. These quantities are also compared to the results produced from a traditional linear discontinuous spatial discretization with finite difference time discretization. It is found that this STLC method is more accurate for streaming-dominate and scattering-dominate test problems. Also, the solution from this STLC method approaches the steady-state diffusion limit solution from a traditional LD method. Through asymptotic analysis and test problems, this STLC method produces a time-dependent diffusion solution in the thick diffusive limit that is accurate to O(E) and is similar to a continuous linear FEM discretization method in space with time differencing. Application of this method in parallel looks promising, mostly due to the ray independence along which the solution is computed in this method.
Pandya, Tara M. (2009). Long Characteristic Method in Space and Time for Transport Problems. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from