Lattice boltzmann models of Xe, Xe+, Xe++, e-flow through ion thruster optics Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper will explore the implementation of a Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) to simulate the flow through ion thruster optics. The LBM is applied to modeling the flow of Xenon ions (singly and doubly ionized), Xenon and electrons through ion thruster optics. The presence of neutral atoms, doubly ionized atoms, and electrons affects the behavior of the flow and the lifetime of the optics, and therefore need to be considered in an effective CFD method. The simulation seeks to identify the mechanism by which electrons back-stream toward the optics, singly-ionized Xenon ions that are affected by charge exchange (CEX) collision are attracted back to the optics, and doubly-ionized Xenon ions tend toward the middle of the optics. By building on previous work with single-species LBM simulations, a physically realistic model can be used to study and increase the performance of ion thrusters. The simulations are compared to other computational and experimental results.

published proceedings

  • Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 42nd Joint Propulsion Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Young, B. T., & Richard, J. C

complete list of authors

  • Young, BT||Richard, JC

publication date

  • December 2006