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Paper: MHD-hybrid-kinetic Simulations of Solar Wind Interacting with Bodies: Magnetized and Nonmagnetized Planets and Electric Sailing Spacecraft
Volume: 385, Numerical Modeling of Space Plasma Flows: Astronum-2007
Page: 135
Authors: Janhunen, P.
Abstract: We review different types of recent plasma simulations carried out at FMI/Space. Global MHD simulations (GUMICS-4) are used to simulate Earth’s magnetosphere. Recent studies have addressed transpolar arcs, energetics at both magnetospheric and ionospheric levels and quantitative characterization of reconnection in the magnetotail and on the magnetopause. Hybrid simulations (HYB) are used to simulate the plasma environments of weakly magnetized planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars) and moons (Earth’s Moon and Titan). In these planetary systems, finite ion Larmor radius effects are often important and produce pronounced asymmetries which are also apparent in new observational data from MarsExpress, VenusExpress and Cassini. Also Monte Carlo type models of complex interactions with neutrals fit naturally in the hybrid simulation framework where ions are particles and electrons are a charge-neutralizing fluid. Lastly, fully kinetic electrostatic simulations with realistic mass ratio are used to model the interaction between the solar wind and a charged, tethered spacecraft, to study a recently discovered Electric Sail effect which may provide a breakthrough in deep-space propulsion for small probes.
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