Bochum 2015 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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P: Fachverband Plasmaphysik

P 10: Theory and Modelling I

P 10.9: Vortrag

Dienstag, 3. März 2015, 12:45–13:00, HZO 50

Self-Consistent Three-Dimensional Plasma and Neutral Gas Modeling — •Robert Henrich and Christian Heiliger — I. Physikalisches Institut, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany

Designing and optimizing micro-Newton radio frequency ion thrusters (μN-RITs) for applications in space are challenging and ongoing processes. For that, the plasma parameters of the inductively coupled discharge are of main importance. These values are tedious to measure without influencing the discharge due to the small size of the discharge chamber which is a few centimeters.

As a result of this we have developed our three-dimensional "particle in Cell" (PIC) code "PlasmaPIC" from scratch. We will show that the three-dimensional description is necessary due to the broken rotational symmetry of the slope of the coil as well as the grid system. A main feature of "PlasmaPIC" is the ability of an excellent massive parallelization of the computation, which scales linearly up to a few hundred cpu cores. Moreover, "PlasmaPIC" includes the support of arbitrary geometries as well as the interaction of the neutral gas and the plasma discharge. Because the neutral gas and the plasma simulation are acting on different time scales we perform the simulation of both separately in a self-consistent treatment, whereas the neutral gas distribution is calculated using the "direct simulation Monte Carlo method" (DSMC).

With our "PlasmaPIC" simulation tool we are now on the verge of predicting performance parameters for new designs of our thrusters on a microscopic level.

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