Development of iodine and air chemistry models for the simulation of plasma in Helicon Plasma Thrusters

Dalle Fabbriche, Simone (2022) Development of iodine and air chemistry models for the simulation of plasma in Helicon Plasma Thrusters. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Aerospace engineering / ingegneria aerospaziale [LM-DM270] - Forli', Documento full-text non disponibile
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The aim of this work is to analyse the chemistry models of low pressure Helicon discharges fed with iodine and air. In particular the focus of this research is to understand the plasma dynamics in order to predict propulsive performances of iodine and air-breathing Helicon Plasma Thrusters. The two systems have been simulated and analysed with the use of global models, i.e. a 0 dimensional tool to solve the set of governing equations by assuming that all quantities are volume averaged. Furthermore, some strategies have been implemented to improve the accuracy of this approach. A verification have been accomplished on the global models for both iodine and air, comparing results against simulations taken from literature. Moreover, the iodine global model has been validated against the experimental measurements of REGULUS, an helicon plasma thruster developed by the Italian company T4i, with a good agreement. From the analysis of iodine model, it has been found a significantly higher density for atomic positive ions with respect to molecular ions. Negative ions, instead, have shown to have negligible effect on the propulsive results. Also, the influence of reactions between heavy particles has been analysed with the global model. Results have demonstrated that, in the iodine case, chemistry is almost entirely affected by electronic collisions. For what concerns air-breathing results, it has been investigated the effects of the orbital height on propulsive performances. In particular, the global model has shown that at lower height, the values of thrust and specific impulse are lower due a change in atmosphere concentration. Finally, the iodine chemistry model has been introduced in the fluid code 3D-VIRTUS in order to preliminary assess the plasma properties of a Helicon discharge chamber for electric propulsion.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Dalle Fabbriche, Simone
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Plasma, Helicon Plasma Thruster, Iodine, Air-breathing
Data di discussione della Tesi
14 Luglio 2022

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