Direct stellarator coil optimization for nested magnetic surfaces with precise quasi-symmetry

Andrew Giuliani, Florian Wechsung, Antoine Cerfon, Matt Landreman, Georg Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a robust optimization algorithm for the design of electromagnetic coils that generate vacuum magnetic fields with nested flux surfaces and precise quasi-symmetry. The method is based on a bilevel optimization problem, where the outer coil optimization is constrained by a set of inner least squares optimization problems whose solutions describe magnetic surfaces. The outer optimization objective targets coils that generate a field with nested magnetic surfaces and good quasi-symmetry. The inner optimization problems identify magnetic surfaces when they exist, and approximate surfaces in the presence of magnetic islands or chaos. We show that this formulation can be used to heal islands and chaos, thus producing coils that result in magnetic fields with precise quasi-symmetry. We show that the method can be initialized with coils from the traditional two-stage coil design process, as well as coils from a near-axis expansion optimization. We present a numerical example where island chains are healed and quasi-symmetry is optimized up to surfaces with aspect ratio 6. Another numerical example illustrates that the aspect ratio of nested flux surfaces with optimized quasi-symmetry can be decreased from 6 to approximately 4. The last example shows that our approach is robust and a cold-start using coils from a near-axis expansion optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042511
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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