Accession Number : AD1035408

Title :   High Fidelity Modeling of Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) Thrusters

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,28 Jan 2014,18 Jan 2017

Corporate Author : AFRL/RQRS EDWARDS AFB United States

Personal Author(s) : Koo, Justin ; Martin,R ; Sousa,Eder M

Full Text :

Report Date : 22 Apr 2017

Pagination or Media Count : 167

Abstract : This work develops an advanced multi-scale and multi-fidelity Modeling and Simulation (M and S) capability targeted at the fundamental studies of the physical characteristics of Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) plasma for advanced space propulsion. The work consists of numerical method development, physical model development, and systematic studies of the non-linear plasma dynamics and chemical processes governing FRC formation, acceleration, stability and interaction with the environment. FRC thrusters are a new class of advanced, mission-enabling spacecraft electric propulsion (EP) technology. They operate at high efficiency, relatively high thrust, and have the potential for hybrid chemical/electric operation. Further development and optimization of this technology requires a more complete and fundamental understanding of the dynamic physical properties of FRC plasma thruster at multiple scales and multiple levels of fidelity. This also requires the development and validation of the corresponding M and S tools for predictive capability of future designs and on-orbit operation. The specific challenges of the research can all be found in the complex non-linearities and dynamic multi-scale aspects of the plasma as it evolves during the various characteristic time scales of the typical thruster operation. By leveraging recent and current research efforts in fundamental mathematics and algorithms for multi-scale plasma simulations as well as the development of advanced models of collisional plasma physics, a unique, state-of-the-art M and S capability is produced. Utilizing these numerical tools, fundamental studies must be performed to elucidate various issues in the efficiency of plasma formation, capture of propellant mass, and coupling efficiency to the accelerating coils that have been encountered experimentally.

Descriptors :   SPACE PROPULSION , hall thrusters , simulations , electric propulsion , PLASMA ENGINES , electron energy , kinetics , electromagnetic fields , computational science

Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion
      Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE