IRF logo Student project work in Space Plasma Physics
Numerical Studies of Spacecraft-Plasma Interaction
Simulations of Wake Effects on the Cluster Electric Field Instrument EFW

Student project, Master of Science in Engineering Physics
Examensarbete (20 p) för civilingenjörsexamen teknisk fysik

Student: Erik Engwall
Supervisor: Anders Eriksson
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala
Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, Uppsala University

The project considered the formation of a wake around spacecrafts in supersonically flowing plasmas. To study this, we used the numerical simulation code package PicUp3D. The project included a week in June 2003 at the European Space Agency's establishment ESTEC in the Netherlands to learn the code as well as presenting the results at the 8th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference in Huntsville, Alabama, in October 2003 (thanks to a stipend from NASA).

Project report (PDF, 1.2 MB), published in the series "IRF Scientific Reports".

Paper "Wake effects on positively charged spacecraft in flowing tenuous plasmas: Cluster observations and modelling" (PDF, 458 kB) by E Engwall, A I Eriksson, A Pedersen, J Forest, G Paschmann, J Quinn, R Torbert, and K Torkar, Proceedings of the 8th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference, in press, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, 2004.

simulation plot
Example plot from a simulation, showing the formation of an ion wake behind the booms of a Cluster satellite.
last modified onTuesday, 15-Jun-2004 17:43:28 CEST