Alberto Marín Cebrián

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Funding entity and Program: Comunidad de Madrid (Garantía Juvenil)

PhD Thesis

Two-dimensional model of wall interaction in Hall effect thruster discharges


Eduardo Ahedo Galilea (UC3M)


Hall effect thrusters are a leading technology in electric space propulsion, fully implemented but still with very active R&D plans to improve their performances in several directions: from a broader power and specific impulse ranges, to a longer lifetime, and improved throttleability and, of course, a higher thruster efficiency. The interaction of the plasma with the walls of the thruster chamber has a key role in the thruster efficiency, through energy losses and recombination at the walls, and the thruster lifetime, through chamber erosion by sputtering.  Plasma-wall interaction is very dependent on the magnetic screening (or shielding) of the walls, the local features of the velocity distribution function of primary electrons, and the secondary electron emission. This Thesis proposal will attempt to model and characterize these problems.
The research will start from an existing kinetic (i.e. particle-based), radial (i.e. one-dimensional) SPT1Dr code, whose last version was developed by a previous PhD student of the research group. The first part of the Thesis will adapt and use SPT1Dr to further analyze several physical phenomena of interest. In the second part a new radial-axial (i.e. two-dimensional) code will be developed based on the lessons learned from SPT1Dr. The new code will be parallelized and will address the phenomena arising from the axial variation of the discharge and the strongly two-dimensional configuration of the applied magnetic topology.

Project participation

Propulsión por plasma y fusión nuclear: innovando el transporte espacial

Grant number: Y2018/NMT-4750 (PROMETEO-CM)