Abstract/Details

Computational analysis of a pulsed inductive plasma accelerator


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

The pulsed inductive plasma accelerator allows for ionization of a cold gas propellant to plasma and acceleration of plasma with the same current pulse and without plasma contact with any part. This is beneficial since erosion is never a problem and lifetimes are limited only by the amount of carried propellant. To date, work involving the pulsed inductive plasma accelerator concept has been largely experimental with minimal computational analysis. The goal of the present research was to develop a computational tool using Maxwell’s equations coupled with the Navier-Stokes fluid equations to fully analyze a pulsed inductive plasma accelerator. A plasma model was developed using the Saha equation and partition functions to calculate all required thermodynamic properties. The solution to Maxwell’s equations was verified accurate and then coupled computations with propellant plasma were conducted. These coupled computations showed good order of magnitude accuracy with a simple onedimensional model however failed when the plasma began to accelerate due to the Lorentz force. The electric field, magnetic field, current density, and Lorentz force were all aligned in the proper vector directions. The computational failure occurred due to rapid, fictitious increases in the induced electric field in the vacuum created between the accelerating plasma and drive coil. Possible solutions to this problem are to decrease the time step and refine the grid density. Although complete acceleration of propellant plasma has yet to be computationally computed, this study has shown successful coupled computations with Maxwell and Navier-Stokes equations for a pulsed inductive plasma accelerator.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Aerospace engineering;
Electromagnetics;
Plasma physics
Classification
0538: Aerospace engineering
0607: Electromagnetics
0759: Plasma physics
Identifier / keyword
Applied sciences; Pure sciences; Electric propulsion; Inductive acceleration; Inductive plasma accelerator
Title
Computational analysis of a pulsed inductive plasma accelerator
Author
Corpening, Jeremy H.
Number of pages
233
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0183
Source
DAI-B 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549824169
Advisor
Merkle, Charles; Hrbud, Ivana
Committee member
Choi, Chan; Heister, Stephen
University/institution
Purdue University
Department
Aeronautics and Astronautics
University location
United States -- Indiana
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3330235
ProQuest document ID
304502942
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304502942
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