On the electron boundary conditions in PIC plasma thruster plume simulations Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2019

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 12


  • 3 (034004)


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0963-0252

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1361-6595


  • The collisionless, steady state expansion of a warm electron, cold ion plasma thruster plume into vacuum is studied with an electrostatic particle-in-cell model and globally-consistent boundary conditions that discriminate between reflected and escaping electrons. As a proof of concept, several simulations are analyzed. Results from both two-dimensional planar and axisymmetric plasma plumes are discussed. In particular, the electron anisothermal and anisotropic behavior in the plume is recovered.


  • Aeronautics
  • Physics


  • electric space propulsion; plasma plumes; particle in cell; simulation; boundary conditions; particle simulations; model; propulsion; physics