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MHD-to-PIC transition for modeling of conduction and opening in a plasma opening switch

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7 Author(s)
Schumer, J.W. ; Div. of Plasma Phys., Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Swanekamp, S.B. ; Ottinger, P.F. ; Commisso, R.J.
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The plasma opening switch (POS) is a critical element of some inductive-energy-storage pulsed-power generators. Detailed understanding of plasma redistribution and thinning during the POS conduction phase can be gained through magnetohydrodynamic fluid (MHD) simulations. As space-charge separation and kinetic effects become important late in the conduction phase (beginning of the opening phase), MHD methods become invalid and particle-in-cell (PIC) methods should be used. In this paper, the applicability of MHD techniques is extended into PIC-like regimes by including nonideal MHD phenomena such as the Hall effect and resistivity. The feasibility of the PIC technique is, likewise, extended into high-density, low-temperature-MHD-like regimes by using a novel numerical cooling algorithm. At an appropriate time, an MHD-to-PIC transition must be accomplished in order to accurately simulate the POS opening phase. The mechanics for converting MHD output into PIC input are introduced, as are the transition criteria determining when to perform this conversion. To establish these transition criteria, side-by-side MHD and PIC simulations are presented and compared. These separate simulations are then complemented by a proof-of-principle MHD-to-PIC transition, thereby demonstrating this MHD-to-PIC technique as a potentially viable tool for the simulation of POS plasmas. Practical limitations of the MHD-to-PIC transition method and applicability of the transition criteria to hybrid fluid-kinetic simulations are discussed

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 2001

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