pdFOAM: A PIC-DSMC code for near-earth plasma-body interactions

Capon, C.J., Brown, M., White, C. , Scanlon, T. and Boyce, R.R. (2017) pdFOAM: A PIC-DSMC code for near-earth plasma-body interactions. Computers and Fluids, 149, pp. 160-171. (doi: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2017.03.020)

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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. charged 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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was undertaken with the assistance of resources from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which is supported by the Australian Government.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Dr Craig
Authors: Capon, C.J., Brown, M., White, C., Scanlon, T., and Boyce, R.R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Computers and Fluids
ISSN (Online):1879-0747
Published Online:20 March 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Computers and Fluids 149:160-171
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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