Preliminary Findings from Efforts to Model Pulsed Inductive Theta-Pinch Plasmas Via Particle-In-Cell


A method is pursued to approximately model the electron energy distribution of pulsed inductive plasma devices with Particle-In-Cell code to elucidate formation physics during early times (t < 1 µs). Specifically, reported results from AFRL-Kirtland's pulsed inductive device, FRCHX, are used as a test case to validate results. An r-z slab approximation is outlined and gyro-frequency, Larmor radius, and E×B guiding center drift are verified against theory to within 1% difference. The analyses presented, using both single electron and Particle-In-Cell modeling, agree with FRCHX reported results by showing that average electron kinetic energy does not exceed the ionization threshold of 15.47 eV for gaseous deuterium until after the first ¼ cycle of the ringing pre-ionization stage (when net magnetic field is approximately nullified). These results provide supportive evidence for the concept that bias field actually inhibits ionization if improperly implemented

Meeting Name

50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition (2012: Jan. 9-12, Nashville, TN)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2012 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

12 Jan 2012