Effect of Plasma Sheaths on Earth Re-entry MHD Processes

Bernard Parent, Prasanna T. Rajendran, Sergey O. Macheret, Robert W. Moses, Christopher O. Johnston, F. Mcneil Cheatwood, Justin Little

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The first study of the full coupling between the aerothermodynamics, the mag-netohydrodynamics, and the plasma sheaths within earth entry flows is here performed. The problem tackled herein is representative of a force-generating MHD patch located between the plenum and the frustum of a capsule entering the earth’s atmosphere at Mach 34. The reactions are obtained from a modified 11-species Park chemical solver. The physical model fully couples the drift-diffusion model for the sheaths to the multispecies Navier-Stokes equations for the plasma flow. The Hall and ion slip effects are taken into consideration within the plasma flow and within the sheaths. The effect of the electrode material on the MHD process is studied. Using thoriated tungsten instead of graphite leads to a fourfold increase in the Lorentz forces and also leads to significantly reduced heat fluxes on the cathode. This is attributed to the much higher electrical conductivity of the thoriated tungsten sheath reducing by orders of magnitude the plasma electrical resistance near the surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2022
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106316
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2022Jan 7 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period1/3/221/7/22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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