The DESC stellarator code suite Part 3: Quasi-symmetry optimization

D. W. Dudt, R. Conlin, D. Panici, E. Kolemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The DESC stellarator optimization code takes advantage of advanced numerical methods to search the full parameter space much faster than conventional tools. Only a single equilibrium solution is needed at each optimization step thanks to automatic differentiation, which efficiently provides exact derivative information. A Gauss-Newton trust-region optimization method uses second-order derivative information to take large steps in parameter space and converges rapidly. With just-in-time compilation and GPU portability, high-dimensional stellarator optimization runs take orders of magnitude less computation time with DESC compared to other approaches. This paper presents the theory of the DESC fixed-boundary local optimization algorithm along with demonstrations of how to easily implement it in the code. Example quasi-symmetry optimizations are shown and compared to results from conventional tools. Three different forms of quasi-symmetry objectives are available in DESC, and their relative advantages are discussed in detail. In the examples presented, the triple product formulation yields the best optimization results in terms of minimized computation time and particle transport. This paper concludes with an explanation of how the modular code suite can be extended to accommodate other types of optimization problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number955890201
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 12 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • fusion plasma
  • plasma confinement
  • plasma devices


Dive into the research topics of 'The DESC stellarator code suite Part 3: Quasi-symmetry optimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this