Comparison of simulated plasma flowfields to experimental measurements for a gas-fed magnetoplasmadynamic thruster

K. Sankaran, S. C. Jardin, Edgar Yazid Choueiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The flowfield of a magnetoplasmadynamic thruster was simulated numerically and the results compared to experimental measurements, in order to validate the code and obtain insight into underlying physical processes. The thruster chosen was the full-scale benchmark thruster, because it has been the subject of many experimental studies. The parallelized axi-symmetric code featured detailed physical models and a finite volume formulation that allowed for non-orthogonal grids. Flowfield properties, such as electron density, velocity, current density, electron temperature, ionization fraction, mass and momentum flux, as well as thrust, compared favorably with existing data. The simulation provided insight into some aspects of thruster operation, such as the weak role of the anode geometry in affecting the thrust, the predominantly electromagnetic nature of the thrust at nominal operating conditions, and the importance of the near cathode region in energy dissipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Event39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2003 - Huntsville, AL, United States
Duration: Jul 20 2003Jul 23 2003

Publication series

Name39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit

Other

Other39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2003
CountryUnited States
CityHuntsville, AL
Period7/20/037/23/03

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Sankaran, K., Jardin, S. C., & Choueiri, E. Y. (2003). Comparison of simulated plasma flowfields to experimental measurements for a gas-fed magnetoplasmadynamic thruster. In 39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit (39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit).