Boltzmann Transport in Hybrid PIC HET Modeling
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AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA ROCKET PROPULSION DIV
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Electron transport models are a key source of uncertainty inhibiting first-principal simulation of Hall-effect thruster HET physics. Fluid electron models depend heavily on the electron mobility tensor, generally constructed using semi-empirical relationships which require user-adjustable tuning parameters and are based on the assumption of an electron velocity distribution function in local thermal equilibrium. Recently, work in the field of gaseous electronics has produced a variety of self-consistent electron swarm codes, such as the Magboltz code, focused on directly solving the steady Boltzmann transport equation including both electromagnetic and collisional processes. In parallel, the community have also developed extensive electron collision databases that include detailed elastic and inelastic collision cross sections for electrons with various gases. In this work, we investigate whether Magboltz can reproduce experimentally observed mobility trends derived from HPHall, a workhorse hybrid-PIC HET simulation code.
- Operations Research
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Electric and Ion Propulsion