CONICAL ELECTROSTATIC PROBES IN A CONTINUUM FLOWING PLASMA.
CORNELL AERONAUTICAL LAB INC BUFFALO N Y
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A theory is presented for electrostatic probes used in continuum flowing plasmas under conditions when charged particle diffusion effects can be neglected in comparison with the effects of convection and the electric field. The theory is applied to the case of a 10 degree half-angle conical probe in an incompressible, inviscid flow field. Calculated results are presented for a range of parameters. The theoretical results are compared with the results of shock tube experiments with conical probes in which the electron number density was measured independently by microwave interferometers operated at Ka-band and X-band. It is found that while the qualitative behavior of the probe current is well described, the electron number density predicted by the theory is approximately twice the expected value on the average. This discrepancy is believed to be primarily due to the difference between the actual supersonic flow field and the assumed flow field. Author
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics