Least-squares finite element formulations for one-dimensional radiative transfer Academic Article uri icon


  • We present least-squares-based finite element formulations for the numerical solution of the radiative transfer equation in its first-order primitive variable form. The use of least-squares principles leads to a variational unconstrained minimization problem in a setting of residual minimization. In addition, the resulting linear algebraic problem will always have a symmetric positive definite coefficient matrix, allowing the use of robust and fast iterative methods for its solution. We consider space-angle coupled and decoupled formulations. In the coupled formulation, the space-angle dependency is represented by two-dimensional finite element expansions and the least-squares functional minimized in the continuous space-angle domain. In the decoupled formulation the angular domain is represented by discrete ordinates, the spatial dependence represented by one-dimensional finite element expansions, and the least-squares functional minimized continuously in space domain and at discrete locations in the angle domain. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the merits of the formulations in slab geometry, for absorbing, emitting, anisotropically scattering mediums, allowing for spatially varying absorption and scattering coefficients. For smooth solutions in space-angle domain, exponentially fast decay of error measures is demonstrated as the p-level of the finite element expansions is increased. The formulations represent attractive alternatives to weak form Galerkin finite element formulations, typically applied to the more complicated second-order even- and odd-parity forms of the radiative transfer equation. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Pontaza, J. P., & Reddy, J. N.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Pontaza, JP||Reddy, JN

publication date

  • October 2005