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Paper: PORTA: A Massively Parallel Code for 3D Non-LTE Polarized Radiative Transfer
Volume: 489, Solar Polarization 7
Page: 243
Authors: Štěpán, J.
Abstract: The interpretation of the Stokes profiles of the solar (stellar) spectral line radiation requires solving a non-LTE radiative transfer problem that can be very complex, especially when the main interest lies in modeling the linear polarization signals produced by scattering processes and their modification by the Hanle effect. One of the main difficulties is due to the fact that the plasma of a stellar atmosphere can be highly inhomogeneous and dynamic, which implies the need to solve the non-equilibrium problem of generation and transfer of polarized radiation in realistic three-dimensional stellar atmospheric models. Here we present PORTA, a computer program we have developed for solving, in three-dimensional (3D) models of stellar atmospheres, the problem of the generation and transfer of spectral line polarization taking into account anisotropic radiation pumping and the Hanle and Zeeman effects in multilevel atoms. The numerical method of solution is based on a highly convergent iterative algorithm, whose convergence rate is insensitive to the grid size, and on an accurate short-characteristics formal solver of the Stokes-vector transfer equation which uses monotonic Bezier interpolation. In addition to the iterative method and the 3D formal solver, another important feature of PORTA is a novel parallelization strategy suitable for taking advantage of massively parallel computers. Linear scaling of the solution with the number of processors allows to reduce the solution time by several orders of magnitude. We present useful benchmarks and a few illustrations of applications using a 3D model of the solar chromosphere resulting from MHD simulations. Finally, we present our conclusions with a view to future research. For more details see Štěpán & Trujillo Bueno (2013).
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