Spatially hybrid computations for streamer discharges : II. fully 3D simulations

C. Li, U. Ebert, W. Hundsdorfer

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49 Citations (Scopus)


We recently have presented first physical predictions of a spatially hybrid model that follows the evolution of a negative streamer discharge in full three spatial dimensions; our spatially hybrid model couples a particle model in the high field region ahead of the streamer with a fluid model in the streamer interior where electron densities are high and fields are low. Therefore the model is computationally efficient, while it also follows the dynamics of single electrons including their possible run-away. Here we describe the technical details of our computations, and present the next step in a systematic development of the simulation code. First, new sets of transport coefficients and reaction rates are obtained from particle swarm simulations in air, nitrogen, oxygen and argon. These coefficients are implemented in an extended fluid model to make the fluid approximation as consistent as possible with the particle model, and to avoid discontinuities at the interface between fluid and particle regions. Then two splitting methods are introduced and compared for the location and motion of the fluid-particle-interface in three spatial dimensions. Finally, we present first results of the 3D spatially hybrid model for a negative streamer in air. Future applications of the hybrid model lie in effects of electron density fluctuations on inception, propagation and branching of streamers, and in accurate calculations of electron energies at and of electron run-away from the streamer head. The last is relevant for hard radiation from streamer-leader systems and possibly for Terrestrial Gamma-Ray Flashes. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1020-1050
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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