Investigation of a discrete velocity Monte Carlo Boltzmann equation

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Morris, Aaron Benjamin

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A new discrete velocity scheme for solving the Boltzmann equation has been implemented for homogeneous relaxation and one-dimensional problems. Directly solving the Boltzmann equation is computationally expensive because in addition to working in physical space, the nonlinear collision integral must also be evaluated in a velocity space. To best solve the collision integral, collisions between each point in velocity space with all other points in velocity space must be considered, but this is very expensive. Motivated by the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method, the computational costs in the present method are reduced by randomly sampling a set of collision partners for each point in velocity space. A collision partner selection algorithm was implemented to favor collision partners that contribute more to the collision integral. The new scheme has a built in flexibility, where the resolution in approximating the collision integral can be adjusted by changing how many collision partners are sampled. The computational cost associated with evaluation of the collision integral is compared to the corresponding statistical error. Having a fixed set of velocities can artificially limit the collision outcomes by restricting post collision velocities to those that satisfy the conservation equations and lie precisely on the grid. A new velocity interpolation algorithm enables us to map velocities that do not lie on the grid to nearby grid points while preserving mass, momentum, and energy. This allows for arbitrary post-collision velocities that lie between grid points or completely outside of the velocity space to be projected back onto the nearby grid points. The present scheme is applied to homogeneous relaxation of the non-equilibrium Bobylev Krook-Wu distribution, and the numerical results agree well with the analytic solution. After verifying the proposed method for spatially homogeneous relaxation problems, the scheme was then used to solve a 1D traveling shock. The jump conditions across the shock match the Rankine-Hugoniot jump conditions. The internal shock wave structure was then compared to DSMC solutions, and good agreement was found for Mach numbers ranging from 1.2 to 6. Since a coarse velocity discretization is required for efficient calculation, the effects of different velocity grid resolutions are examined. Although using a relatively coarse approximation for the collision integral is computationally efficient, statistical noise pollutes the solution. The effects of using coarse and fine approximations for the collision integral are examined and it is found that by coarsely evaluating the collision integral, the computational time can be reduced by nearly two orders of magnitude while retaining relatively smooth macroscopic properties.



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