Bare electrodynamic tether ground simulations in a dense, high-speed plasma flow

Brian E. Gilchrist, Sven G. Bilén, Travis A. Patrick, Jonathan L. Van Noord

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe chamber tests of simulated electrodynamic tethers (EDTs) of different geometries operating in a dense, high-speed plasma. The geometries tested were cylindrical, flat-ribbon, and sparse-ribbon or mesh. Several important conclusions can be drawn from the tests as follows: the cylinder collected currents close to what would be predicted via orbital-motion-limited (OML) current collection theory. The tape tether had comparable current levels to a theoretical equal area OML cylinder collector. However, I-V behavior clearly is different at nearest distances (~ 15 λD tape width) as compared to furthest test distances (~ 6 λD tape width). The tape tether did better than a theoretical equal mass solid cylinder. A "knee" in the I-V curves can be seen in the tape/mesh data at a potential that is close to the estimated energy of the incoming beam of ions, at least for the closest distances where Debye length is smallest. Below this knee the current increases rapidly as voltage is increased. Above the knee the current increases at a rate one might expect from OML current-collection models depending on the relative width. This likely is an example of high-speed plasma flow effect. Perpendicular tape orientation performed slightly better than parallel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Event35th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit 2000 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2000Jul 28 2000

Other

Other35th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit 2000
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV
Period7/24/007/28/00

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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