EMAU Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald
The University of Greifswald was founded in 1456 and is one of the oldest academic institutions in Europe. Over 12,000 students from all over the world receive the most modern academic instruction and exciting research opportunities in a time-honoured environment. Research priorities at the University of Greifswald are in the life sciences, physics and geosciences, cultural interaction in the Baltic/Nordic region, as well as law and economics. Scientists engage in inter-disciplinary collaborations across faculties and aim for excellence in both research and teaching.
The Computational Science group at the Institute of Physics aims at bridging between different scientific problems using the experience to develop numerical models for complex, non-linear systems based on extensive projects in plasma physics from low-temperature and complex plasmas to high temperature fusion plasmas. Examples for successful collaborations are contacts with chemistry (molecular dynamics, quantum chemistry), medicine (magnetic resonance imaging correction), geology (sediment transport in the Baltic Sea, dune dynamics), biology (population dynamics) and other physics disciplines (modeling of particle traps, table tennis trajectories).
The role of the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald in the project
The development of electrostatic ion thrusters so far has mainly been based on empirical and qualitative know-how, and on evolutionary iteration steps. This resulted in considerable effort regarding prototype design, construction and testing and therefore in signiﬁcant development and qualiﬁcation costs and high time demands. For future developments the group of Prof. Dr. Ralf Schneider at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University implements simulation tools which aims at quantitative prediction of ion thruster performance, long-term behavior and space craft interaction prior to hardware design and construction. This integrated, modular approach was already successfully applied to combined thruster-plume modeling. A basic research project addresses already the question of similarity laws for size-scaling of thrusters, its benefits and limits. Combining this with the simulation models will allow a project-oriented analysis and performance optimization of the new systems based on basic physics understanding.