Fluid simulation of ionization process in iodine cusped field thruster
Lab of Plasma Propulsion, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin 150001, P.R. China
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Accepted: 6 June 2019
Published online: 16 August 2019
In this paper, a one dimensional fluid model of iodine cusped field thruster is built along two typical electron paths. Simulation results show typical low frequency oscillations of plasma parameters. Density of I2+ is similar to that of I+, while density of I− is smaller than those of I+ by two orders of magnitude. Simulation results show that ionization rate and thrust of iodine cusped field thruster are a little higher than that of xenon cusped field thruster. However, electron density of main ionization region in iodine cusped field thruster is much higher than that in xenon cusped field thruster, which may be due to diversity of plasma components and complexity of ionization process. Compared with xenon cusped field thruster, ionization intensity is enhanced and main ionization region moves towards downstream of channel in iodine cusped field thruster, which is related to dissociation process of I2. With decrease of leak electron proportion, ionization strength of secondary ionization region located in the middle magnetic cusp is enhanced and ionization strength of main ionization region is weakened. The main ionization region moves towards upstream of channel. These phenomena are mainly because confinement of electrons by middle magnetic cusp is enhanced, which causes excessive consumption of I2 and decrease of I2 dissociation intensity.
Key words: Plasma Physics
© EDP Sciences / Società Italiana di Fisica / Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature, 2019