Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 28, Number 1, October 2004
|Page(s)||113 - 122|
|Section||Plasma, Discharges and Processes|
|Published online||25 June 2004|
Very-near-field plume simulation of a stationary plasma thruster
Dipartimento di Chimica dell'Università degli Studi di Bari and IMIP-CNR, Sect. Bari, via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 17 March 2004
Accepted: 9 April 2004
Published online: 25 June 2004
The plasmadynamics of a stationary plasma thruster (SPT-100) plume in the very-near-field region have been studied by using a two-dimensional axisymmetric numerical code based on a combination of Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulation for ion component (Xe+ and Xe++) and fluid description for electrons. In particular we have solved the electron momentum conservation equation (including collisional and magnetic effects) and the electron energy conservation equation (including collisional effects). Due to the difference between electron and ion Larmor radius and to the effect of the thruster wall, the quasi-neutrality hypothesis can be violated in the very-near-field plume region and the electric field must be computed accordingly. The xenon atom flowfield is calculated analytically. The model allows a unitary rationalization of several experimental observations.
PACS: 52.65.Rr – Particle-in-cell method / 52.75.Di – Ion and plasma propulsion
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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