Versatile and Robust Three-Dimensional Software for Multi-Fluid Plasma Modeling

Period of Performance: 04/15/2014 - 04/14/2016


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave Suite A
Boulder, CO 80303
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Washington
Department of Aeronautics&Astronautics, Box 352250
Seattle, WA 98195
Institution POC


ABSTRACT: In this STTR Tech-X corporation in partnership with the University of Washington will improve a commercial plasma modeling tool, Nautilus, for simulating high-temperature multi-fluid plasmas for problems such as the field reversed configuration, dense plasma focus and the plasma opening switch. Semi-implicit algorithms will be implemented in Nautilus so that the speed of light and electron dynamics can be stepped over so that solutions to long time scale, high density problems can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time. Improved divergence preservation methods will be developed and characterized. Additional physics including the 13 moment model of fluid plasmas will be implemented along with collisional terms. The tool will be validated on existing experimental data. To simplify the user experience Nautilus graphical user interface will be improved and Nautilus tutorials specific to the applications investigated in this project will be developed. At the end of this project the Air Force will have a complete tool for modeling high temperature multi-fluid plasmas on complex and unstructured grids with complex boundary conditions. BENEFIT: The development of a code for modeling multi-fluid plasmas including space charge effects and electron dynamics with implicit algorithms will greatly improve the ability of the Air Force to model phenomena in pulsed power devices, nuclear fusion, plasma opening switches and has additional lower temperature applications in areas such as radio blackout and plasma actuators and plasma thrusters. Commercial applications include semiconductor processing, lighting, display panels, thermal plasmas (torches and arcs), atmospheric plasmas, dielectric barrier discharge and medical plasmas. In addition, numerous researchers for the Air Force as well as academia, industry and other government organizations are investigating devices that are best described by multi-fluid plasmas. The development of Nautilus will save these organizations the time and money needed to develop a code of there own from scratch or prevent them from having to use models which are not accurate. Furthermore, Nautilus users will benefit from its broad use, enhanced usability and the customer support that comes with a commercial tool.