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1 November 1990 BGK method to determine thruster plume backscatter
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An approximate molecular scatter model based on the Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (BGK) theory for a binary system was developed to predict the plume return flux and molecular density distribution due to spacecraft thruster firing during orbital flight. This binary model considers intermolecular collisions involving a plume species and an ambient species and defines the onset of the BGK molecular flow to be on a plume translational breakdown surface based on density decay considerations (Bird''s criterion). With the assumption of average local collision frequency quantities the BGK quasi-linear differential equation can be decoupled into a selfscatter (collision between plume molecules) equation and an ambient scatter (collisions between plume and ambient molecules) equation both amenable to relatively straightforward numerical integration schemes. A sample molecular scatter solution for a small hydrazine monopropellant thruster (with 5-lb thrust) is included in this analysis. 1.
© (1990) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael C. Fong and Aleck L. Lee "BGK method to determine thruster plume backscatter", Proc. SPIE 1329, Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control II, (1 November 1990);

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