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Numerical simulation of nonlinear ionization nonuniformities in nonequilibrium disk MHD generator

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2 Author(s)
A. Yu. Sokolov ; Tokyo Inst. of Technol., Yokohama, Japan ; S. Kabashima

The formation and evolution of the ionization nonuniformities from initial disturbances of finite amplitude in the nonequilibrium Ar-Cs plasma in a disk magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator is studied by the numerical simulation, The simulations are carried out in the wide interval of electron temperatures corresponding to the region at which the seed partially ionizes, the region of the linear plasma stability at the fully ionized seed, and the region of the instability corresponding to the partial ionization of Ar at high electron temperatures. Initial disturbances of finite amplitude in electron temperature and density are introduced at the time t=0 into the homogeneous plasma distribution, and the critical amplitudes determining the development of the instability are calculated. The initial disturbances are constructed using random functions with different spatial scales, The results are compared with the calculation of the critical amplitudes from the nonlinear theory of the plane ionization waves, It is found that at electron temperatures lower than 5500 K, the temperature dependence of the critical amplitudes and the structure of the nonlinear waves agree well with the nonlinear theory, In the electron temperature region corresponding to the partial ionization of the noble gas (Te>5500 K), the finite ionization rate of argon atoms is essential for analysis of the instability, In this region the margin of the plasma stability is wider than it is predicted by the nonlinear theory, The nonuniformity in the argon ion number density plays the dominating role in the instability development at high electron temperatures (Te>5500 K) in comparison with the nonuniformity in Te in the initial disturbances,

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 1 )