LSP Suite

Closeup of Large Hadron Collider

LSP is a 3-D (as well as 2-D and 1-D) electromagnetic code for large-scale electromagnetic plasma simulations using the particle-in-cell method. The code runs on parallel as well as serial computers.

On a parallel machine, domain decomposition with message-passing is used to divide the computational load among the processors. A unified decomposition of fields and particles is used, i.e. the particles reside on the same processor as the cells they occupy. The standard MPI message-passing interface is used for inter-process communication.

Available Algorithms

Both explicit and direct-implicit electromagnetic field and particle-advancing algorithms are available. Algorithms are also implemented for field emission, transmission-line boundaries, dielectrics, dispersive magnetic materials, secondary electron generation, multiple scattering, ionization of neutrals, surface heating, and desorption of neutrals from surfaces. A hybrid fluid model for electrons has been implemented, allowing electrons in dense plasmas to be modeled with a kinetic or fluid treatment as appropriate.

Fully Dynamic Memory Allocation

Memory allocation for both fields and particles is fully dynamic. The code saves on memory by not allocating field storage inside of conducting surfaces. An array of pointers is used to access field quantities. The particles are managed in groups, and groups are added as needed as the population increases.

LSP particle and field data files are written in XDR format, allowing binary data to be written, e.g., on a multi-processor Unix machine and viewed on, e.g., a PC or Mac. The history data file is an ASCII text file, and so is also portable. The P4 post-processor, written in the cross-platform IDL language, is used to analyze output.

  • A license from Oak Ridge is needed for ITS 3.0 to use the Monte Carlo electron-tracking algorithm.
  • The GLSP pre-processor allows LSP input files to be generated graphically.
  • Supported Platforms: Windows 2000/NT/98, Linux, UNIX, Mac OS X
technical diagram of graphical preprocessor for LSP


GLSP is a graphical pre-processor for LSP. It allows complete specification of a calculation and 3D visualization of the spatial elements. An LSP simulation can be launched from GLSP, or the input data can be exported to a remote machine (using a built-in FTP client). The graphical post-processor can also be launched from GLSP. GLSP is written with C and Tcl/Tk and uses OpenGL to render the objects in 3D space. GLSP is a full-featured program that runs independently from LSP. Features include:

  • Cross platform
  • Real-time rendering
  • Multiple rendering modes, including Constructive Solid Geometry
  • Remote file opening and saving
  • Context-sensitive, integrated help system
  • Runtime interface for LSP and P4
Diagram of 3D post-processor for LSP


P4 is a 3D post-processor for LSP. It is used to view and print the History, Particle, Vector, and Scalar dumps from LSP. It can also generate Particle and Scalar movies in multiple formats, which can be viewed with, e.g. a web browser or Apple Quicktime. P4 is written in IDL and is cross-platform capable. It requires an IDL runtime license.

LSP Help Desk

The LSP Suite Help Desk is 100% email based, so there are no accounts or passwords to remember. Please use it to contact us for sales or additional information.