Publications / SAND Report

Radiation-MHD simulations for the development of a spark discharge channel

Niederhaus, John H.; Jorgenson, Roy E.; Warne, Larry K.; Chen, Kenneth C.

The growth of a cylindrical s park discharge channel in water and Lexan is studied using a series of one - dimensional simulations with the finite - element radiation - magnetohydrodynamics code ALEGRA. Computed solutions are analyzed in order to characterize the rate of growth and dynamics of the spark c hannels during the rising - current phase of the drive pulse. The current ramp rate is varied between 0.2 and 3.0 kA/ns, and values of the mechanical coupling coefficient K p are extracted for each case. The simulations predict spark channel expansion veloc ities primarily in the range of 2000 to 3500 m/s, channel pressures primarily in the range 10 - 40 GPa, and K p values primarily between 1.1 and 1.4. When Lexan is preheated, slightly larger expansion velocities and smaller K p values are predicted , but the o verall behavior is unchanged.