Universidad de Costa Rica

Performance optimization of an EHD thruster: the influence of secondary emission and the electrodes gap

Ing. Victor Hugo Granados Fernández, PhD.
Victor H Granados and Paulo A Sa and Mario J Pinheiro


We have developed a numerical model to study the performance (thrust, maximum output velocity of the fluid and thrust-to-power ratio) of a single-stage electrohydrodynamic (EHD) thruster with a rod anode and a funnel-like cathode configuration. The electrohydrodynamic processes embody interlocking aspects of non-compressible gas dynamics (Navier-Stokes equations), ionized gas physics, self-consistent accelerating electric field adequately described by Poisson equation and migration of charged particles in an electric field in the drift-diffusion approximation. We considered the following neutral and ionized nitrogen species as the working media: N, N+, N 2, N2+, a nd N4+. I n order to optimize the thruster performance, we present two studies: i) a sweeping of the gap between electrodes in order to detect the optimal distance for the proposed model; and ii) a study of the influence of the secondary electron emission coefficient, gamma i, on the discharge mechanism, as gamma …

© 2020 Escuela de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Universidad de Costa Rica.