Title

3-D Fully Kinetic Particle-In-Cell Simulations of Small Asteroid Charging in the Solar Wind

Abstract

This paper presents a 3-D, fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation study of plasma charging for small, irregularly shaped, composite asteroids in the solar wind. Three types of asteroid internal structures are considered: 1) a homogeneous composition of regolith; 2) a single hard rock; and 3) a composite of hard rock core covered with a regolith outer layer. The simulation model resolves the plasma flow field, asteroid surface differential charging, and asteroid internal electric field self-consistently. The results show that while the ambient plasma condition and surface property determine surface charging, the internal composition substantially affects the subsurface electric field inside an asteroid.

Department(s)

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Asteroid; plasma charging; solar wind

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0093-3813

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2019

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