Numerical analysis of azimuthal rotating spokes in a crossed-field discharge plasma

R. Kawashima, K. Hara, K. Komurasaki

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Low-frequency rotating spokes are obtained in a cross-field discharge plasma using two-dimensional numerical simulations. A particle-fluid hybrid model is used to model the plasma flow in a configuration similar to a Hall thruster. It has been reported that the drift-diffusion approximation for an electron fluid results in an ill-conditioned matrix when solving for the potential because of the differences in the electron mobilities across the magnetic field and in the direction of the E × B drift. In this paper, we employ a hyperbolic approach that enables stable calculation, namely, better iterative convergence of the electron fluid model. Our simulation results show a coherent rotating structure propagating in the E × B direction with a phase velocity of 2500 m s-1, which agrees with experimental data. The phase velocity obtained from the numerical simulations shows good agreement with that predicted by the dispersion relation of the gradient drift instability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035010
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 26
Externally publishedYes


  • Hall effect thruster
  • gradient drift instability
  • linear stability analysis
  • plasma simulation
  • rotating spoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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