ZARM Plasma FOAM
ZARMplasmaFOAM is a numerical solver based on the standard solver rhoPimpleFOAM provided with OpenFOAM. The solver models the electric arc between cathode and anode in an arcjet propulsion system as a plasma ring using a continuum approach. Conservation equations for mass and momentum are derived for the electron flow between cathode and anode and are solved by taking advantage of the PISO algorithm (Pressure Implicit with Splitting of Operators) already implemented in OpenFOAM. In addition, the ion distribution in the electric arc zone is modeled based on the results for the electron flow. This approach enables the numerical modeling of electric carrier distribution and the calculation of electrostatic potential, electric field and current density in the electric arc zone of an arcjet thruster. The results of the solver ZARMplasmaFOAM for electric field and current density are used to model the heating process of the propellant gas through the electric arc and the partial ionization of the gas flow inside the arcjet propulsion system.