Cerfacs Enter the world of high performance ...

Modeling and numerical simulation of Hall effect thrusters

 , ,

Required Education : Master or enginering degree
Start date : 1 February 2019
Mission duration : 6 months
Deadline for applications : 15 January 2019
Salary : 650 euros/month


Safran developed its first plasma propulsion engine, the PPS-1350, in 1995. The main advantage of electric propulsion is the gain in onboard fuel mass and therefore a substantial financial gain. However, the technology of Hall effect motors is not yet fully mastered, especially in terms of wear and long-term reliability. In addition, the design of Hall effect engines of higher thrust requires a better knowledge of the operation of these systems and tools adapted to their study.

In order to face the competition, Safran has engaged with CERFACS in the development of a Hall effect engine design code, a tool that is still unavailable today in commercial and in-house software vendors, at Safran or in the laboratories.

The recently created AVIP code is able to solve the equations of magnetized cold plasmas in complex geometry, either in particle formulation or in fluid formulation. The first test cases carried out are encouraging and make it possible to identify the next paths of development.


In this internship, the first step will be to consolidate the numerical developments realized in AVIP fluid. On the basis of well-known test cases, the accuracy and robustness of the numerical schemes of the fluid code will be evaluated,  the possibilities fro optimization will be identified and the parallel efficiency will be evalauted.

One of the important questions that arise today for the motor calculation is the choice of the method, fluid or hybrid fluid / particulate. This choice must take into account both the capabilities of the two methods to describe the physical phenomena of interest, as well as their computing ost and difficulty of implementation. Following the tests and improvements made with the fluid formulation, first tests in hybrid formulation on the same test cases will be carried out.



Bénédicte CUENOT