Title

Kinetic Simulations of Plasma Plume Potential in a Vacuum Chamber

Abstract

Direct simulation Monte Carlo and particle-in-cell simulations are carried out to study the potential of a mesothermal plasma plume in a vacuum chamber. The results show that the beam potential with respect to the ambient in a vacuum chamber is different from that in space because the facility plasma can prematurely terminate the plume expansion process. As a result, the plume potential measured in a vacuum chamber may be significantly lower than that under the in-space condition. This can lead to underestimation of the backflow of charge-exchange ions and ionized contaminants in plasma thruster plume modeling.

Department(s)

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Charge transfer; Monte Carlo methods; Thermal plumes; Charge exchanges; Direct simulation Monte Carlo; Kinetic simulation; Particle-in-cell simulations; Plasma thrusters; Plume expansion; Space conditions; Vacuum chambers; Plasma simulation; Particle-in-cell (PIC); Plasma beam emission; Plasma plume potential; Vacuum chamber testing

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0093-3813

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE), All rights reserved.

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