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Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 2;

Modeling Plasma via Electron Impact Ionization

Mechanical and Material Engineering Department, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 35433, USA
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Aerospace)
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Variable and potential plasma applications in aerospace engineering are exemplified by ion thrusters, flow control by plasma actuator, enhanced ignition and combustion stability. The operational environments span a range from the rarefied to continuum gasdynamic regimes; however, the ionization process in practical applications is mostly by electron impact. The fundamental ionization mechanisms by electron impact consist of electron secondary mission and the cascading process. In an alternating electric field, unsteady and random micro discharges or streamers are always presented; therefore the discharge physics imposes a formidable challenge for incisive understanding. Meanwhile, the ionized species constitute hundreds of metastable chemical species; under this circumstance the physics-based modeling for analyzing the inhomogeneous medium becomes necessary. A summary of the physics-based modeling for electron impact ionization from the Boltzmann distribution equation to the inelastic particle kinetics formulation is delineated. View Full-Text
Keywords: electron impact ionizations; particle-in-cell; chemical kinetics; multi-fluid model; drift-diffusion theory electron impact ionizations; particle-in-cell; chemical kinetics; multi-fluid model; drift-diffusion theory

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Shang, J.J.S. Modeling Plasma via Electron Impact Ionization. Aerospace 2018, 5, 2.

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