Advanced Modeling and Simulation of Complex, Non-Equilibrium Plasma Flows

Award Information
Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
PO Box 233, 663 Owego Hill Road, Harford, NY, 13784
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Henry Carlson
President and CEO
(607) 844-9171
Business Contact:
Henry Carlson
President and CEO
(607) 844-9171
Research Institution:
Clear Science Corp. proposes to develop efficient and scalable software for analyzing complex plasma flows associated with micro-satellite propulsion systems. The computational tool will provide a framework for synthesizing kinetic and continuum modelsand multiple grid topologies. The goal is a code capable of accurately predicting the flow dynamics of hybrid mixtures of background gases, neutrals, ions, and electrons interacting on disparate time and length scales. Physical models will beinterchangeable and based on the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the Particle-In-Cell (PIC) method, and Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) formulations. Surface interaction models will be integrated into theframework, providing the means of coupling solid-propellant ablation and sputtering with the bulk plasma dynamics. Models will be scalable from one to three dimensions in space and capable of simulating both steady and unsteady flows. During Phase I, wewill develop a modular architecture, a data structure, and grid topologies that satisfy the key metrics of accuracy, robustness, efficiency, range of application, and scalability of modeling complexity. We will demonstrate the technical merit andfeasibility of the approach using a subset of models that are essential to the analysis of non-equilibrium plasma flows and will formulate a detailed schedule for Phase II development and testing. The commercial product to be developed is experimentallyvalidated software for simulating plasma flows that are characterized by a mixture of charged and neutral constituents and multiple length and time scales. The group of potential users is large, including engineers who design electric propulsion systemsfor spacecraft, directed energy defense weapons, microwave generators, advanced energy conversion systems, and sensors and switches that operate with plasmas. Moreover, problems relating to chemical vapor deposition, etching, and other materialfabrication processes involve non-equilibrium plasma flows over the full Knudsen number range. Plasma tool suppliers and computer chip manufacturers constitute a big group in need of versatile software. They require a computational tool capable ofsimulating plasma reactor flows from the tool scale down to the feature scale. Spacecraft engineers, laser weapon designers, chip manufacturers, and plasma tool suppliers share a pressing need for the software we propose to develop.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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