Accession Number:



Experiment, Modeling, and Simulation of Advanced Materials - Plasma Interactions in the Space Environment

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Final Report]

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Profs. Rovey and Levin have been working on a two-year joint experiment and modeling approach to study the fundamental kinetic behavior of plasmas heaths found in electric propulsion devices with an extension to high-altitude air reentry plasmas. Understanding and accurately predicting the behavior of low-density plasmas with multi-species is fundamental and paramount to these applications, and this is the focus of our project. The goal of our research is to compare and assess different modeling approaches in capturing true system dynamics, by techniques such as time-lag phase portrait, within the context of plasma and space propulsion systems. Experiments focused on measuring the true system dynamics in a canonical plasma system relevant to pulsedplasma propulsion and air-breathing electric propulsion applications. High-fidelity fully-kinetic modeling was used to predict the plasma system dynamics andis compared with experiments. We compare the measured plasma system properties with the modeling results to assess the level of fidelity in predicting true dynamics of the system.The objective was to compare the experimentally measured and numerically predicted temporal response of a low-density plasma when it is perturbed by a fast electric potential pulse. We measured the temporal response of the plasma within the sheath of a nanosecond pulsed electrode, and capture the response of the plasma on the timescale of the plasma frequency. Instead of only using probe theory and the inherent assumptions to calculate plasma parameters from probe data and comparing those with model predictions e.g., plasma frequency, we also directly compared the raw temporal probe measurement with numerical predictions.

Subject Categories:

  • Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]