Topic/Type: 1.6 Plasma-based devices, Oral

Plasma Particle Simulation for the Development of Interplanetary Flight System

H. Usui1, 6, M. Nunami2, 6, Y. Kajimura3, 6, T. Moritaka1, 6, I. Shinohara4, 6, M. Nakamura5, 6, H. O. Ueda4, 6, M. Matsumoto4, 6, I. Funaki4, 6, H. Yamakawa3, 6

1 Graduate school of Engineering, Kobe University, Kobe, JAPAN
2 National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS), Toki, JAPAN
3 Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH), Kyoto University, Uji, JAPAN
4 Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Sagamihara, JPAN
5 Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, JAPAN
6 Japan Science and Techonlogy Agency (JST) / CREST, Kawaguchi, JAPAN

Magneto Plasma Sail (MPS) [1,2] was proposed as one of the innovative interplanetary flight systems. The propulsion of MPS is obtained as a result of multi-scale electrodynamic interactions between the solar wind plasma and a small-scale artificial magnetosphere created around the spacecraft. Prior to the MPS development, we need to understand the basic principle of MPS and the thrust performance. Since the size of the artificial magnetosphere created with a current coil at spacecraft is in order of the Lamor radius of the solar wind ions, plasma kinetic effects should be taken into account to examine the MPS-plasma interactions.

We will focus on two major issues. One is the quantitative evaluation of the MPS thrust by considering the kinetic interactions between the solar wind and MPS. In order to increase the interaction area, we will inject plasma from the spacecraft and try to inflate the dipole magnetic field. We are interested in the transient process of the inflation of the magnetic field including the plasma kinetic effect, which we have been examining with hybrid as well as full-PIC model simulations.

The other issue is the development of a multi-scale plasma particle simulation method. We have been developing a new electromagnetic particle code by incorporating AMR technique into PIC model with the Fully Threaded Tree (FTT) structure which is one of hierarchical data structures. In the data structure, the information of the parent, child, and neighbor cells as well as particles located in each cell is associated by a set of pointers. We can subdivide and remove cells dynamically according to refinement criteria such as the characteristic length, for instance, the local Debye length. To parallelize the code, we use domain decomposition scheme and try to incorporate the modified Morton ordering method to control decomposed domain by monitoring the amount of number of calculation loops. In the preliminary test calculation, we confirmed that the modified Morton ordering method can balance the cost of particle and cell calculation. The developed AMR-PIC simulation code will be applied to the quantitative analysis of MPS plasma environment as well as to the evaluation of MPS propulsion.

[1] R.M. Zubrin and Andrews, D.G., Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol.28, pp.197-203, (1991).

[2] R.M. Winglee, et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 105, No.21, 067-078, (2000).