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Preliminary modeling of air breakdown with the ICEPIC code

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9 Author(s)
Schulz, A.E. ; Air Force Res. Lab., Kirtland AFB, NM, USA ; Greenwood, A.D. ; Cartwright, K.L. ; Mardahl, P.J.
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Interest in air breakdown phenomena has recently been rekindled with the advent of advanced virtual prototyping of radio frequency (RF) sources for use in high power microwave (HPM) weapons technology. Air breakdown phenomena are of interest because the formation of a plasma layer at the aperture of an RF source decreases the transmitted power to the target, and in some cases can cause significant reflection of RF radiation. Understanding the mechanisms behind the formation of such plasma layers aid in the development of maximally effective sources. This paper begins with some of the basic theory behind air breakdown, and describes two independent approaches to modeling the formation of plasmas, the dielectric fluid model and the particle in cell (PIC) approach. Finally we present the results of preliminary studies in numerical modeling and simulation of breakdown.

Published in:

Users Group Conference (DOD_UGC'04), 2004

Date of Conference:

7-11 June 2004