Proof-of-concept simulations of the magnetic null (MagNul) thruster

Matthew S. Feldman, Edgar Y. Choueiri

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


Plasma behavior in an externally applied magnetic field reversal is numerically explored in order to demonstrate the existence of a self-consistent drift caused by the kinetic interaction of ions with the magnetic null. Single-particle analysis of ion trajectories is performed in the magnetic topology to predict expected ion particle and momentum fluxes out of the system. A particle-in-cell (PIC) code is used to simulate the actual fluxes out of the system for a set of magnetic field strengths from 0 to 800 G. The results of the simulations upheld the concept's presumed ability to accelerate plasma in a desired direction and demonstrated that single-particle analysis does not predict the exact particle and momentum fluxes out of the system but does predict the optimum magnetic field for our limited parameter space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint PropulsionConference
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint PropulsionConference - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 14 2013Jul 17 2013

Publication series

Name49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference


Other49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint PropulsionConference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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