Theoretical modeling and numerical simulations of plasmas generated by shock waves

  • JianQiao Li
  • Li Hao
  • Jian LiEmail author


Electromagnetic (EM) field is a consequence of the plasma generation induced by shock waves generated in impacts and explosions and is an important topic of study in aerospace and geophysics. Experimental research is frequently used to investigate the plasma generation in hypervelocity impacts and the EM wave emitted in chemical explosions. However, the basic plasma generation mechanism leading to the EM emission generated by the shock waves in chemical explosions is rarely studied. Therefore, a detailed investigation is performed to determine the state of the plasmas generated by the shock waves in air blast. In addition, a multi-component ionization model was improved to evaluate the ionization state of the generated plasmas. The proposed ionization model was combined with an AUSM+-up based finite volume method (FVM) to simulate the plasmas generated in the air blast. Two typical cases of simulation were carried out to investigate the relation between the shock waves and ionization, as well as the influence of ground reflection on the ionization state. It was found that the ionization zone was close behind the shock front in the air and propagates along with the shock waves. The interaction between the original shock waves and reflected shock waves was found to have a great impact of the order of 2–3 magnitudes, on the degree of ionization of the plasmas generated by the shock waves. This phenomenon explains the observation of additional EM pulses generated by ground reflection, as explored in the reference cited in this paper.

plasma generation air blast shock waves local thermal and reactive equilibrium (LTRE) state computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation 


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© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Explosion Science and TechnologyBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Science SchoolBeijing University of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureBeijingChina

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