Plume Impingement of a Single & Dual Thruster Configuration

Plume impingement plays a major role in the development of spacecraft systems due to the possible contamination of mission critical elements such as solar panels or scientific instruments by a thruster exhaust. The application case presented in the following validates the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) and the particle-based ellipsoidal statistical Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (ESBGK) methods in PICLas with experimental measurements.

Nozzle Expansion in a Cold Gas Thruster

Cold gas thrusters are typically utilized in satellites due to their reduced complexity, reliability and low cost. Due to plume impingement, the exhaust of the thruster can pose a contamination risk for mission critical components or even result in a reduced performance of the thruster itself. Therefore, numerical simulations are utilized to predict the effect of the thruster plume on its surroundings.