Topic/Type: 2.5 Adaptative & multi-scale methods, Poster

Applying a Multigrid Method to Analysis of Spacecraft-Plasma Interactions using Electrostatic Particle-In-Cell Simulations (II)

T. Muranaka1, H. O. Ueda2, 3, H. Usui4, I. Shinohara2

1 JAXA?s Engineering Digital Innovation Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan
2 Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan
3 Core Research of Evolutional Science & Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan
4 Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe University, Japan

We have developed a conventional three-dimensional electrostatic Particle-In-Cell (PIC) code in order to analyze spacecraft-plasma interactions quantitatively. Interactions between spacecraft and plasmas from natural space environment and from spacecraft itself as photoelectrons determine the floating potential of a spacecraft and local electric potential of each spacecraft surface parts. These interactions are crucial for spacecraft engineering to prevent spacecraft charging-arcing issue that determines the spacecraft lifetime as well as for space science to determine configurations of plasma probes. As applications of the code, we had analyzed motion of plasmas including photoelectrons around a satellite in the magnetosphere and evaluated the observation data on correlation between the floating potential of the satellite and the photoelectron current. We have now trying to analyze the plasma behavior for the new concept of a spacecraft called solar power sail that consists of a large membrane and an ion engine. As the first step of the numerical analysis, we carried out the plasma behaviors around a thin plate and the charging analysis of the spacecraft modeling a large membrane in the near earth environment using the present code. Considering the spacecraft having the various scale length of its parts and the Debye length of the plasmas around, it is necessary to modify the code so that we can compute high spatial resolution reducing numerical resources. A multigrid method is now adopted to achieve these computations. In this paper, we will introduce the numerical results of plasma behaviors computed by the present code mainly and the progress of the modification of the code is also shown.