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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Electron Kinetics in Hypersonic Plasmas

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Electron Kinetics in Hypersonic Plasmas
The goal of this SBIR project is to advance the state-of-the-art in computations of hypersonic plasmas by adding high-fidelity kinetic models for electrons. Electron kinetics affects plasma-chemical reactions and nonequilibrium radiation, which are important for designing hypersonic vehicles. We will develop adaptive multi-scale models for electrons applicable for hypersonic flows in rarefied and continuum regimes using a hierarchy of kinetic and fluid solvers. During Phase 1, a framework for simulation electron kinetics will be added to our existing Unified Flow Solver. Initial testing will be performed to illustrate the feasibility of adaptive multi-scale simulations of electrons using three options: a) fluid model for high plasma densities, b) local Fokker-Planck solver for the Electron Energy Distribution Function, and c) spatially inhomogeneous (nonlocal) Fokker-Planck solver for rarefied flow regimes. In Phase 2, we plan to fully develop and validate the new models versus laboratory experiments. Increased predictive capabilities will be illustrated for the shock layer radiation in the poorly understood vacuum ultraviolet part of the spectrum. We will demonstrate the new tool for hypersonic vehicles with realistic 3D geometries. The effects of electric fields generated by the plasma and externally applied electric and magnetic fields will be taken into account to study discharges and MHD interactions. We will simulate the extreme entry environment at Earth and Mars entry. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.