Development of electromagnetic codes to analyze and optimize satellite propulsion systems and communication antennas

Melazzi Davide

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 3 (Research TU/e / Graduation NOT TU/e)


Satellite communication systems have demonstrated their essential role providing timely services for disaster management in a variety of distress situations. Their effectiveness requires high mapping and pointing accuracy in terms of displacement capability, and high gain, high bandwidth, directional, and reconfigurable antennas in terms of communication capability. A Helicon plasma thruster, and an enhanced communication system meet the aforementioned requirements. The former is an electric plasma-based propulsion system that provides an high accuracy attitude control, while the latter could be either an optimized state-of-the-art antenna or an innovative concept based on plasma antennas. In this research work, several computationally efficient codes have been developed to analyze, design and optimize the helicon plasma thruster, and the antenna for an enhanced communication system. The present work progresses starting from the definition of the requisites, and continues to describe the innovative numerical methods: the SPIREs finite-difference frequency-domain electromagnetic solver for magnetized plasma cylinders; the WAVEQM equilibrium condition solver for radiofrequency heated plasmas; the PARTYWAVE particle in cell code for cylindrical geometries, and the Moment Method for antenna design. Their numerical accuracy has been verified, and they have been validated against physical cases.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • CISAS "G. Colombo" Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi e Attività Spaziali
  • Pavarin, D., Promotor, External person
  • Lancellotti, Vito, Copromotor
  • Manente, M., Copromotor, External person
Award date1 Jan 2013
Place of PublicationPadua
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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