2D Particle-In-Cell Simulation of the Narrow Channel Hall Thruster

Omri Hamo
Work towards MSc degree under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Igal Kronhaus
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

In the past decade growing numbers of nanosatellites are being used in space, with an-ever increasing mission demands. Nevertheless, due to severe limitations on on-board power, there is currently a gap in propulsion solutions for these miniaturized spacecraft. To address these issues, a very low power Hall effect thruster known as the narrow channel Hall thruster (NCHT) was recently developed and demonstrated at the Aerospace Plasma Laboratory (APL), Technion. Due to the small dimensions of the NCHT channel (1 mm wide and 2 mm in length) experimental measurements of the thruster discharge are very challenging.

In this work we study the thruster using a particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation XOOPIC-APL. The original code was modified to provide 2D spatial distributions of the plasma parameters inside the thruster channel. The global performance figures obtained from the simulation are shown to be in excellent agreement with the experimental measurements.

The talk will be divided into two parts: first we present the numerical techniques that were used to improve the code execution; second, we analyze the simulation results.

The talk will be given in English.

Wed, 23-01-2019, 16:30 (Gathering at 16:00)

Classroom 165, ground floor, Library, Aerospace Eng.

Light refreshments will be served before the lecture

2D Particle-In-Cell Simulation of the Narrow Channel Hall Thruster