Novel Numerical Methods for Electric Propulsion Modeling

The electrostatic particle in cell (ES-PIC) method has become an invaluable tool for studying the physics of electric propulsion devices or their interaction with spacecraft components. However, the classic approach utilizing a Cartesian grid, fixed macroparticle weight, and an imposed separation between a "device" and a "plume" domain has led to a number of difficulties including the inability to resolve fine geometrical features, noise in the representation of low density species, strong assumption on boundary conditions, and an artificial break in the governing physical equations. Submissions are thus sought from the community on novel numerical techniques for modeling electric propulsion devices, their components, and spacecraft interactions. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: - Direct kinetic "Vlasov" or hybrid-Vlasov approaches - Meshfree techniques - Models for resolving the dynamic surface / plasma interface - Collisional algorithms beyond classic DSMC, plasma / surface chemistry models - Hardware-specific approaches, including embedded and edge-computing numerical techniques - Multiphysics models capturing effects such as charging, erosion, heat transfer, and radiative emission - Multifidelity and reduced-order models, physics-based machine learning - Other novel numerical techniques


  • Lubos Brieda

    Lubos Brieda is President at Particle in Cell Consulting LLC, where he is focusing on developing simulation codes for analyzing electric propulsion devices and the space environment. He has authored a book on numerical plasma simulations in 2019. Since 2020, he is also working as a part-time lecturer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he has developed a new course on scientific computing and is teaching computational plasma physics. He holds a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the George Washington University, and an MSc in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech.

  • Francesco Taccogna

    Francesco Taccogna is a researcher at the Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (ISTP) of the National Research Council (CNR) since 2008, and since 2015 he has been associated with the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). He is working on dynamics and kinetics in non-equilibrium rarefied gases and low temperature plasmas by particle models. His research activity is documented by about 100 ISI papers and more than 1600 citations. He has been invited to discuss his research at numerous international conferences and in various universities and national laboratories in Europe, USA, China and Japan.


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