Accession Number:

ADA209051

Title:

Space Shuttle Plasma/Flowfield Interactions

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept. 12 Sep 1986-11 Sep 1987

Corporate Author:

PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC ANDOVER MA

Report Date:

1987-12-11

Pagination or Media Count:

141.0

Abstract:

Plasma phenomena around large space structures operating in low earth orbit are examined. Our particular emphasis is on phenomena that may lead to enhanced plasmas as a result of gas injections. The ultimate goal is the design of a Shuttle-borne experiment to study plasma enhancement. One section provides a review of Langmuir probe theory with a re-analysis of some of the measurements performed on earlier Shuttle flights. The major portion of the report describes modeling the critical ionization velocity CIV phenomenon, which has been proposed as an important source of plasma enhancement when neutral molecules have a sufficiently large velocity relative to a magnetized plasma. We present an analysis of the linear dispersion theory for both cold plasmas and plasmas that have thermal energy. Results are presented from computer simulations using a particle-in cell-code to simulate the plasma effects that results when a beam of fast ions interacts with a background plasma. Most of these simulations include molecular physical effects such as charge exchange, elastic collisions, and excitation and ionization by fast electrons. An appendix gives the Phase 01 Accident Risk Assessment report for the experiment design. Keywords Space shuttle Ions Electrons Ionization mechanisms Plasma simulation Langmuir probe Critical Ionization, Velocity.

Subject Categories:

  • Astrophysics
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Astronautics
  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE