Development of a Finite Element-Based Hall-Thruster Model

Subrata Roy*, B. P. Pandey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to characterize the Hall-thruster plasma dynamics in the framework of multifluid model. Effect of the ionization and the recombination has been included in the present model. Based on the experimental data, a third-order polynomial in electron temperature is used to calculate the ionization rate. The neutral dynamics is included only through the neutral continuity equation in the presence of a uniform neutral flow. The electrons are modeled as magnetized and hot, whereas ions are assumed unmagnetized and cold. The computed plasma density profile shows that the location of the density maximum is shifted slightly inward from the channel exit. This suggests that the maximum ionization takes place inside the channel. This is in conformity with the experimental observations. The maximum electron temperature increase takes place just near the exit closer to the inner wall. This is consistent with the electron gyration velocity distribution. The plasma potential is fairly flat in most parts of the channel before falling at the exit. Simulation results are interpreted in the light of experimental observations and available numerical solutions in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-971
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes

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