Studies on waves and instabilities in a plasma sheath formed on the outer surface of a space craft

Aria, Anil K.; Malik, Hitendra K.
April 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2008, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p043501
Academic Journal
Using the normal mode analysis, the number of possible modes is obtained in a magnetized inhomogeneous plasma sheath formed during the motion of a space craft which consists of negative ions (due to dust) along with the positive ions and the isothermal electrons. In addition to three propagating modes with phase velocities λ1, λ2, and λ3 such that λ1<λ2<λ3, two types of instabilities with growth rates γ1 and γ2 also occur in such a plasma sheath. The growth rate γ1 is increased with the negative to positive ion density ratio r0, ion temperature T, and obliqueness θ of the magnetic field B0. The growth rate γ2 of the other instability gets lower with the density ratio r0 but gets higher with the temperature T. The growth rate γ2 is sensitive to the temperature T, whereas the growth rate γ1 gets prominently changed with the density ratio r0. The increase in the growth rate γ1 with the obliqueness θ is more pronounced under the effect of stronger magnetic field. On other hand, the phase velocity λ1 shows weak dependence on r0 and T (though it gets larger) but it gets significantly changed (increased) for the larger obliqueness θ. The phase velocity λ2 gets larger with r0, B0, and θ and becomes lower for the higher temperature T. The phase velocity λ3 is decreased for the higher values of r0 and B0 and is increased for the larger values of T and θ.


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