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 under estimation of the backflow of CEX ions and ionized contaminants in plasma thruster plume modeling.
J. J. Wang et al., "Kinetic Simulations of Plasma Plume Potential in a Vacuum Chamber," Proceedings of the 33rd International Electric Propulsion Conference (2013, Washington D.C.), International Electric Propulsion Conference, Oct 2013.
33rd International Electric Propulsion Conference (2013: Oct. 6-10, Washington, DC)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Article - Conference proceedings
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01 Oct 2013