Colloquium - Plasma Physics
Challenges and opportunities in verification and validation of low temperature plasma simulations and experiments
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA
2 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Accepted: 15 February 2021
Published online: 10 May 2021
This paper describes the verification and validation (V&V) framework developed for the stochastic Particle-in-Cell, Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code Aleph. An ideal framework for V&V from the viewpoint of the authors is described where a physics problem is defined, and relevant physics models and parameters to the defined problem are assessed and captured in a Phenomena Identification and Ranking Table (PIRT). Numerous V&V examples guided by the PIRT for a simple gas discharge are shown to demonstrate the V&V process applied to a real-world simulation tool with the overall goal to demonstrably increase the confidence in the results for the simulation tool and its predictive capability. Although many examples are provided here to demonstrate elements of the framework, the primary goal of this work is to introduce this framework and not to provide a fully complete implementation, which would be a much longer document. Comparisons and contrasts are made to more usual approaches to V&V, and techniques new to the low-temperature plasma community are introduced. Specific challenges relating to the sufficiency of available data (e.g., cross sections), the limits of ad hoc validation approaches, the additional difficulty of utilizing a stochastic simulation tool, and the extreme cost of formal validation are discussed.
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