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Modeling of Plasma Probe Interactions With a PIC Code Using an Unstructured Mesh

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7 Author(s)
Alain Hilgers ; Eur. Space Res. & Technol. Centre, Eur. Space Agency, Noordwijk ; Simon Clucas ; Benoit Thiebault ; Jean-Francois Roussel
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A new Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Software has been developed in the frame of the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Network (SPINE). This software is designed to simulate the kinetic processes of ions and electrons, taking into account their space charge and their interaction with spacecraft surfaces. It is freely available worldwide in open source. While the development and the qualification of the software functionalities were under the responsibility of a consortium led by ONERA under contract with the European Space Agency, the test and validation of the applicability of the code for solving problems in plasma physics remained under SPINE responsibility. The validation program includes step-by-step applications of the software to sheath modeling in simple geometry, artificial plasma injection, and spacecraft charging. We report here on the progress along this program, including Langmuir probe tests with spherical and cylindrical geometry and comparison with other numerical methods.

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IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 5 )