3D electromagnetic PIC simulations of relativistic electron pulse injections from spacecraft

Torsten Neubert, B.E. Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Relativistic electron beam accelerators (5 MeV, 0.1 A) can now be flown on spacecraft. Injection from low-Earth-orbit into the atmosphere makes it possible to perform active perturbation experiments in the 40–60 km altitude range. These include modification of the atmospheric electric potential structure over thunderstorm regions and the possible stimulation of high-altitude-lightning, as well as studies of relativistic electron precipitation effects on chemical reaction paths. In this paper, the initial stage of the beam injection process is simulated by a fully electromagnetic and relativistic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) code. The self-consistent implementation of electric charging of a spacecraft structure in an electromagnetic code is demonstrated, and beam propagation dynamics is explored for a range of beam to ambient plasma densities. It is shown that the combined effects of ambient plasma and beam self-fields may allow propagation in the ion-focused regime and that this regime primarily is expected for relativistic beams.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume29
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1385-1390
ISSN0273-1177
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventD4 1-B1 3 Symposium of COSPAR Scientific Commission D held at the 33rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly - Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 1 Jul 20001 Jul 2000
Conference number: 33

Conference

ConferenceD4 1-B1 3 Symposium of COSPAR Scientific Commission D held at the 33rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly
Number33
CountryPoland
CityWarsaw
Period01/07/200001/07/2000

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