To produce ionospheric plasma environments at ground level is essential to get information not only for the development of CubeSat-class spacecraft but also for the design of ionospheric plasma instruments and to confirm their performance. In this paper, we describe the principle of plasma generation and characteristics of the back-diffusion plasma source, which can produce in-lab plasma similar to the Earth's ionosphere, E and F regions, conditions of electron and ion temperature and density. The ion and electron energy distributions of the plasma generated by a back-diffusion source are measured by means of a cleaned Langmuir probe and gridded particle energy analyzers. The ion motion in front of the source is investigated by a hard-sphere collision model in SIMION software and the simulation results are comparable with the findings of our experiment. Furthermore, plasma densities and ion temperatures at different positions in front of the source are also demonstrated. The back-diffusion source has been accommodated for ionospheric plasma productions in several Asian institutes. The plasma characteristics of the source shown in this paper will benefit space research groups in the development of space plasma instruments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics