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Title: Magneto-hydrodynamics simulation study of deflagration mode in co-axial plasma accelerators

Experimental studies by Poehlmann et al. [Phys. Plasmas 17(12), 123508 (2010)] on a coaxial electrode magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) plasma accelerator have revealed two modes of operation. A deflagration or stationary mode is observed for lower power settings, while higher input power leads to a detonation or snowplow mode. A numerical modeling study of a coaxial plasma accelerator using the non-ideal MHD equations is presented. The effect of plasma conductivity on the axial distribution of radial current is studied and found to agree well with experiments. Lower conductivities lead to the formation of a high current density, stationary region close to the inlet/breech, which is a characteristic of the deflagration mode, while a propagating current sheet like feature is observed at higher conductivities, similar to the detonation mode. Results confirm that plasma resistivity, which determines magnetic field diffusion effects, is fundamentally responsible for the two modes.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252153
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; CURRENT DENSITY; DIFFUSION; DISTRIBUTION; ELECTRODES; EQUATIONS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; PLASMA GUNS; SIMULATION