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On the electron boundary conditions in PIC plasma thruster plume simulations

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2019-03-27
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IOP Publishing
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Abstract
The collisionless, steady state expansion of a warm electron, cold ion plasma thruster plume into vacuum is studied with an electrostatic particle-in-cell model and globally-consistent boundary conditions that discriminate between reflected and escaping electrons. As a proof of concept, several simulations are analyzed. Results from both two-dimensional planar and axisymmetric plasma plumes are discussed. In particular, the electron anisothermal and anisotropic behavior in the plume is recovered.
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Min Li's work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11872093). Mario Merino and Eduardo Ahedo's work has been supported by the Spanish R&D National Plan under grant number ESP2016-75887-P.
Keywords
Electric space propulsion, Plasma plumes, Particle in cell, Simulation, Boundary conditions, Particle simulations, Model, Propulsion, Physics
Bibliographic citation
Plasma sources science and technology, 28, 034004, March 2019, 12 Pp.