A Nonlinear Positive Extension of the Linear Discontinuous Spatial Discretization of the Transport Equation
Linear discontinuous (LD) spatial discretization of the transport operator can generate negative angular flux solutions. In slab geometry, negativities are limited to optically thick cells. However, in multi-dimension problems, negativities can even occur in voids. Past attempts to eliminate the negativities associated with LD have focused on inherently positive solution shapes and ad-hoc fixups. We present a new, strictly non-negative finite element method that reduces to the LD method whenever the LD solution is everywhere positive. The new method assumes an angular flux distribution, e , that is a linear function in space, but with all negativities set-to- zero. Our new scheme always conserves the zeroth and linear spatial moments of the transport equation. For these reasons, we call our method the consistent set-to-zero (CSZ) scheme. CSZ can be thought of as a nonlinear modification of the LD scheme. When the LD solution is everywhere positive within a cell, psi csz = psi LD. If psi LD < 0 somewhere within a cell, psi csz is a linear function psi csz with all negativities set to zero. Applying CSZ to the transport moment equations creates a nonlinear system of equations which is solved to obtain a non-negative solution that preserves the moments of the transport equation. These properties make CSZ unique; it encompasses the desirable properties of both strictly positive nonlinear solution representations and ad-hoc fixups. Our test problems indicate that CSZ avoids the slow spatial convergence properties of past inherently positive solutions representations, is more accurate than ad-hoc fixups, and does not require significantly more computational work to solve a problem than using an ad-hoc fixup. Overall, CSZ is easy to implement and a valuable addition to existing transport codes, particularly for shielding applications. CSZ is presented here in slab and rect- angular geometries, but is readily extensible to three-dimensional Cartesian (brick) geometries. To be applicable to other simulations, particularly radiative transfer, additional research will need to be conducted, focusing on the diffusion limit in multi-dimension geometries and solution acceleration techniques.