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Author Koga, J. ♦ Lin, C. S.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword PHYSICS ♦ IONOSPHERE ♦ ELECTRON BEAM INJECTION ♦ BEAM PROFILES ♦ EXPANSION ♦ COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION
Abstract Injections of nonrelativistic electron beams from a finite equipotential conductor into an ionospheric plasma have been simulated using a two-dimensional electrostatic particle code. The purpose of the study is to survey the simulation parameters for understanding the dependence of beam radius on physical variables. The conductor is charged to a high potential when the background plasma density is less than the beam density. Beam electrons attracted by the charged conductor are decelerated to zero velocity near the stagnation point, which is at a few Debye lengths from the conductor. The simulations suggest that the beam electrons at the stagnation point receive a large transverse kick and the beam expands radially thereafter. The buildup of beam electrons at the stagnation point produces a large electrostatic force responsible for the transverse kick. However, for the weak charging cases where the background plasma density is larger than the beam density, the radial expansion mechanism is different; the beam plasma instability is found to be responsible for the radial expansion. The simulations show that the electron beam radius for high spacecraft charging cases is of the order of the beam gyroradius, defined as the beam velocity divided by the gyrofrequency. In the weak charging cases, the beam radius is only a fraction of the beam gyroradius. The parameter survey indicates that the beam radius increases with beam density and decreases with magnetic field and beam velocity. The beam radius normalized by the beam gyroradius is found to scale according to the ratio of the beam electron Debye length to the ambient electron Debye length. The parameter dependence deduced would be useful for interpreting the beam radius and beam density of electron beam injection experiments conducted from rockets and the space shuttle. 19 refs., 15 figs.
ISSN 01480227
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1994-03-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume Number 99
Issue Number A3


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