Journal of Astronautics ›› 2021, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (5): 634-641.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2021.05.010

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Numerical Simulation of Discharge Characteristics of CNT Array Thruster

LU Chang, XIA Guang qing, SUN Bin, HAN Ya jie, GUAN Si qi   

  1. 1. School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China;2. State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Dalian 116024, China;3. Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Aerospace Vehicles of Liaoning Province, Dalian 116024, China;4. DUT BSU Joint Institute, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

  • Received:2020-06-24 Revised:2020-09-02 Online:2021-05-15 Published:2021-05-15

Abstract: Based on the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method, Immersed Finite Element (IFE) method, Particle in cell Monte Carlo Collision (PIC MCC) method and Ammosov Delone Krainov(ADK) tunneling ionization model, a three dimensional simulation model for the carbon nanotube (CNT) array thruster is established. The validity of the simulation model is verified by comparison with experimental data in literature. The results show that the simulation model is in agreement with the experimental results. Then the discharge characteristics of the carbon nanotube array thruster are studied, and the influence of collisions is also analyzed. The results show that CNT can greatly enhance the local electric field, and the field enhancement factor in steady state is about 1308; the collision with atoms makes ions more concentrated near the CNT tip, thus reducing the local electric field and its field enhancement ability.

Key words: Electric propulsion, Micro propulsion, CNT array thruster, Discharge characteristics, Numerical simulation

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