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Two-Dimensional MHD Simulations of Magnetic Field Penetration in the Plasma Opening Switch

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4 Author(s)

Three mechanisms for anomalous magnetic field penetration have been investigated in computer simulations of Sandia's plasma opening switch (POS). The POS simulations have been performed using the two-dimensional (2-D) two-temperature single-fluid magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code HAM [1], [2]. The three penetration mechanisms considered are 1) the Chodura model based on the ion-acoustic instability where the saturated value of the anomalous collision frequency is approximated by the ion plasma frequency; 2) a model based on the lower hybrid instability in which the anomalous collision frequency is proportional to both the ion plasma frequency and the electron drift velocity; and 3) a model that limits the ion drift velocity to the plasma influx velocity. Two-dimensional MHD calculations of the POS will be presented which show these models to be qualitatively similar for densities above a few 1013 cm-3, though at lower densities they can be quite different. The calculations are compared to experiments, and some agreement is seen with the lower hybrid model. The other models compare only marginally to experimental results.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 6 )