pdFOAM: a PIC-DSMC code for near-Earth plasma-body interactions

C.J. Capon, M. Brown, C. White, T. Scanlon, R.R. Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the interaction of the near-Earth space environment with orbiting bodies is critical, both from a design and scientific perspective. In Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the interaction between the Ionosphere and orbiting objects is well studied from a charging perspective. Not well understood is the effect of the Ionosphere on the motion of LEO objects i.e. ionospheric aerodynamics. This paper presents the implementation, validation, and verification of the hybrid electrostatic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) - Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code, pdFOAM, to study both the neutral and charged particle aerodynamics of LEO objects. The 2D aerodynamic interaction of a cylinder with a fixed uniform surface potential of −50 V in mesothermal O+ and H+ plasmas representative of ionospheric conditions is investigated. New insights into the role of bounded ion jets and their effect on surface forces are presented. O+ bounded ion jets are observed to cause a 4.4% increase in direct Charged Particle Drag (dCPD), while H+ ion jets produce a net reduction in H+ dCPD by 23.7% i.e. they cause a thrust force. As a result, this paper concludes the study of charged aerodynamics in LEO requires a self-consistent modelling tool, such as pdFOAM.
LanguageEnglish
Pages160-171
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Fluids
Volume149
Early online date20 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017

Fingerprint

Beam plasma interactions
Earth (planet)
Aerodynamics
Plasmas
Orbits
Charged particles
Ionosphere
Drag
Ions
Surface potential
Electrostatics
Monte Carlo simulation

Keywords

  • space situational awareness
  • spacecraft-environment interactions
  • charged aerodynamics
  • particle-in-cell
  • hybrid electrostatic
  • direct simulation Monte Carlo
  • pdFOAM
  • particle aerodynamics
  • low earth orbit

Cite this

Capon, C. J., Brown, M., White, C., Scanlon, T., & Boyce, R. R. (2017). pdFOAM: a PIC-DSMC code for near-Earth plasma-body interactions. Computers and Fluids, 149, 160-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compfluid.2017.03.020
Capon, C.J. ; Brown, M. ; White, C. ; Scanlon, T. ; Boyce, R.R. / pdFOAM : a PIC-DSMC code for near-Earth plasma-body interactions. In: Computers and Fluids. 2017 ; Vol. 149. pp. 160-171.
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Capon, CJ, Brown, M, White, C, Scanlon, T & Boyce, RR 2017, 'pdFOAM: a PIC-DSMC code for near-Earth plasma-body interactions' Computers and Fluids, vol. 149, pp. 160-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compfluid.2017.03.020

pdFOAM : a PIC-DSMC code for near-Earth plasma-body interactions. / Capon, C.J.; Brown, M.; White, C.; Scanlon, T.; Boyce, R.R.

In: Computers and Fluids, Vol. 149, 13.06.2017, p. 160-171.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - pdFOAM

T2 - Computers and Fluids

AU - Capon, C.J.

AU - Brown, M.

AU - White, C.

AU - Scanlon, T.

AU - Boyce, R.R.

PY - 2017/6/13

Y1 - 2017/6/13

N2 - Understanding the interaction of the near-Earth space environment with orbiting bodies is critical, both from a design and scientific perspective. In Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the interaction between the Ionosphere and orbiting objects is well studied from a charging perspective. Not well understood is the effect of the Ionosphere on the motion of LEO objects i.e. ionospheric aerodynamics. This paper presents the implementation, validation, and verification of the hybrid electrostatic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) - Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code, pdFOAM, to study both the neutral and charged particle aerodynamics of LEO objects. The 2D aerodynamic interaction of a cylinder with a fixed uniform surface potential of −50 V in mesothermal O+ and H+ plasmas representative of ionospheric conditions is investigated. New insights into the role of bounded ion jets and their effect on surface forces are presented. O+ bounded ion jets are observed to cause a 4.4% increase in direct Charged Particle Drag (dCPD), while H+ ion jets produce a net reduction in H+ dCPD by 23.7% i.e. they cause a thrust force. As a result, this paper concludes the study of charged aerodynamics in LEO requires a self-consistent modelling tool, such as pdFOAM.

AB - Understanding the interaction of the near-Earth space environment with orbiting bodies is critical, both from a design and scientific perspective. In Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the interaction between the Ionosphere and orbiting objects is well studied from a charging perspective. Not well understood is the effect of the Ionosphere on the motion of LEO objects i.e. ionospheric aerodynamics. This paper presents the implementation, validation, and verification of the hybrid electrostatic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) - Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code, pdFOAM, to study both the neutral and charged particle aerodynamics of LEO objects. The 2D aerodynamic interaction of a cylinder with a fixed uniform surface potential of −50 V in mesothermal O+ and H+ plasmas representative of ionospheric conditions is investigated. New insights into the role of bounded ion jets and their effect on surface forces are presented. O+ bounded ion jets are observed to cause a 4.4% increase in direct Charged Particle Drag (dCPD), while H+ ion jets produce a net reduction in H+ dCPD by 23.7% i.e. they cause a thrust force. As a result, this paper concludes the study of charged aerodynamics in LEO requires a self-consistent modelling tool, such as pdFOAM.

KW - space situational awareness

KW - spacecraft-environment interactions

KW - charged aerodynamics

KW - particle-in-cell

KW - hybrid electrostatic

KW - direct simulation Monte Carlo

KW - pdFOAM

KW - particle aerodynamics

KW - low earth orbit

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DO - 10.1016/j.compfluid.2017.03.020

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VL - 149

SP - 160

EP - 171

JO - Computers and Fluids

JF - Computers and Fluids

SN - 0045-7930

ER -