Resistive MHD Simulations of Laminar Round Jets with Application to Magnetic Nozzle Flows
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This thesis investigates fundamental flows of resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) by a new numerical tool based on the gas-kinetic method. The motivation for this work stems from the need to analyze the mechanisms of plasma detachment in the exhaust plume of the magnetoplasma rocket known as VASIMRR. This rocket has great potential for reducing the travel time for deep space exploration missions. However, it is very difficult to investigate detachment in ground-based experiments because this large-scale device can fully function only in a vacuum. This difficulty makes computational analysis and modeling an important part of the design and testing process. A parallelized Boltzmann-BGK continuum flow solver is expanded to include resistive MHD physics. This new code is validated against known solutions to MHD channel flows and new results are presented for simulations of a laminar round jet subject to a constant applied magnetic field as well as the diverging magnetic field of a current loop. Additionally, a parametric map is presented that outlines appropriate conditions required when using a fluid model for magnetic nozzle flows. The work of this thesis serves as an introductory step to developing a robust numerical ow solver capable of simulating magnetic nozzle flows and other plasmas that cannot be easily replicated in ground facilities.
Araya, Daniel (2011). Resistive MHD Simulations of Laminar Round Jets with Application to Magnetic Nozzle Flows. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from