PRINCE: A Software Tool for Characterizing Waves and Instabilities in Plasma Thrusters
An interactive software tool is developed to characterize the waves and instabilities present in plasma thrusters by solving for the complex zeros of plasma dispersion relations. This tool helps researchers explore plasma waves and instabilities in their particular plasma thruster configuration. A user-friendly graphical interface allows versatile data input and parametric control. The zeros of the dispersion relation are located and tracked by root-finding algorithms based on Cauchy’s Argument Principle and Newton-Raphson’s method. Information about the instabilities found is presented through various data visualization options. The software tool is validated by reproducing previous work concerning instabilities arising in Hall thrusters from solutions to a simplified Esipchuk-Tilinin dispersion relation.