Project GIESEPP MP team at International Electric Propulsion Conference 2022 in Boston, USA

Boston and Cambridge, USA

The IEPC 2022 took place in Boston and Cambridge, USA, on 19-23, June 2022 with sessions being held on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus. More than 500 abstracts were submitted, including two by project’s GIESEPP MP team.

The GIESEPP MP team was represented by Prof. Hans Leiter from ArianeGroup in Lampoldshausen (Germany), Prof. Peter Klar, Dr. Kristof Holste and Konstantin Keil from Justus Liebig University Giessen (Germany).


From the left Prof. Hans Leiter from ArianeGroup, Konstantin Keil, Dr. Kristof Holste and Prof. Peter Klar from Justus Liebig University Giessen. 

Konstantin Keil gave his presentation on “Modeling of erosion processes in gridded ion engines in combination with a global model for radio-frequency ion thrusters”. The presentation was given on Monday (19.06) and was one of the first of that day. It was well attended by various professionals in the field.

The main focus of his presentation was modelling of grid erosion. Grid erosion is a major lifetime-limiting effect of gridded ion engines. Using computer modelling, our team wants to predict this effect for the evaluation of gridded ion engines. For this purpose, we use the Particle-In-Cell method to describe the movement of the ions inside of the grid system and the Monte Carlo method for the neutral gas particles. We want to use this to model charge exchange processes, since the slow ions after this process impact on the thruster’s acceleration grid and sputter material there on impact.

After his presentation, Konstantin Keil was asked questions by attendees about the implementation of the model. He also had the opportunity to discuss the topic of his presentation with other professionals in the field, focusing on the modeling of the actual erosion process.

Konstantin attended various presentations, including the presentation about CT (computed tomography) imaging of thruster grid systems. The main idea of this approach is to obtain a spatially resolved density map of the grid system. If the resolution can be increased and some minor problems can be solved, it could become a tool to easily asses grid erosion.

The International Electric Propulsion Conference 2022 was another great opportunity for GIESEPP MP team to get an overview of the current status in the electric propulsion community.

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