Real-Time Density Control of a Plasma Source Used for Simulating Low-Earth-Orbit Plasma Environment

Jesse K. McTernan, Omar J. Leon, Sven G. Bilen, John D. Williams, Jason A. Vaughn, Todd A. Schneider, Linda Habash Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We developed a variable-output-aperture, laboratory plasma source to enable real-time plasma density control with minimal effect on other plasma properties. The source is capable of producing a low-Earth-orbit-type plasma with electron energies of approximately 0.1-0.7 eV and streaming ion energies of approximately 2-4 eV. The plasma density can be adjusted over two orders of magnitude, thus representing some of the natural variability of the ionosphere. In a given aperture range, the electron and ion density decreased by 73% while the average percent difference in electron and ion density was 0.3% with a standard deviation of 1.4%. The average percent difference in ion energy was 6.3% with a standard deviation of 4.3%. The variable aperture was achieved by a rotating dual-grid system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8734014
Pages (from-to)3891-3897
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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