Hall thrusters, which generate thrust through plasma gas ionization, have recently become attractive devices for deep space exploration and satellite systems. However, efficient utilization requires understanding discharge chamber events, particularly the ExB drift instability and anomalous electron transport. To achieve this, new codes or solvers that can model those physical problems more accurately and are less costly are needed, especially fully kinetic codes. Therefore, in this study, we implement the new picFoam solver which is developed as a fully kinetic and electrostatic solver based on OpenFoam. We chose two benchmark cases: the first one is capacitively coupled benchmarks for the low-pressure plasma, and the other one is one-dimensional azimuthal particles in cell simulation. In the first case, we implemented some collision models, including elastic scattering, excitation, and ionization. We found that our solver could simulate collision in a plasma environment, and we learned that circuit design parameters are significant for more accurate modeling. In the second benchmark plasma case, we studied a one-dimensional azimuthal ExB drift case that includes the main problems in the Hall thruster physics which are ExB drift instability and anomalous electron transport. After our tests, we obtained a simulation that can produce similar results. However, for the chosen cases picFoam solver can be improved based on the source code. In conclusion, the new picFoam solver appears to be a powerful tool for simulating plasma, and we will continue this work for better accomplishment with picFoam.
ORCID NO: 0009-0000-0757-6238
Keywords: electrical propulsion, plasma modelling, picFoam solver