Investigation of pre-ionization characteristics in heavy gas pulsed inductive plasmas via numerical modeling

Warner C. Meeks, Ryan A. Pahl, Joshua L. Rovey

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

Abstract

A globally-averaged, pulsed inductive plasma model is reproduced and utilized to investigate pre-ionization conditions for a pulsed inductive plasma accelerator. Attention is given to better quantifying the formation and energy conversion/loss processes associated with the pre-ionization stage. Simulations are completed for different power input pulse duration, seed plasma density, and total input energy. Results are analyzed based on the ion energy fraction and peak ion density. Ion energy fraction is the percentage of total input energy contained in ionization. Analysis shows that reducing pulse duration from 10-6 to 10-7 seconds increases ion energy fraction by 16.5%. Reducing pulse duration further to 10-8 seconds increases ion energy fraction only another 2.5%. The optimum pulse duration from these simulations is 200 ns because this duration maximizes both ion energy fraction and peak ion density. Results show that a low seed plasma density, less than 1014 m-3, yields the highest ion energy fraction of 40%. Increasing seed plasma density above 1014 m-3 increases peak ion density but causes a corresponding decrease in ion energy fraction. Increasing total energy deposition from 5 to 160 mJ increases ion energy fraction from 33 to 58% at a 200 ns pulse duration. However this increase is not linear, but has a diminishing return with ion energy fraction plateau estimated to be 65%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781600869495
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 31 2011Aug 3 2011

Publication series

Name47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011

Other

Other47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period7/31/118/3/11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Meeks, W. C., Pahl, R. A., & Rovey, J. L. (2011). Investigation of pre-ionization characteristics in heavy gas pulsed inductive plasmas via numerical modeling. In 47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011 (47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2011-5655