Hi there everybody! My name is Pedro Jiménez. Let me tell you a little bit about my research and what has brought me to the amazing ZARATHUSTRA team. I studied Aerospace Engineering, but I’ve always been inclined to physics and mathematics. So, it was all pretty obvious. What better place to follow my passion within the career I chose than working on Plasma Physics applied to Space Electric Propulsion (EP)? And so, my research journey began.
During my first PhD years, my work focused on the study of wave propagation phenomena in Electrodeless Plasma Thrusters (EPTs). This constitutes the bulk of my PhD thesis (yet to be presented). It turns out that EPTs are the best candidates for Deep Space exploration missions (yet they are pretty useful in more mundane operations). Sounds cool, doesn’t it? I have developed simulation tools that enable us to better understand the physics of these devices. I’m definitely looking forward to studying ZARATHUSTRA’s innovative Magnetic Arch (MARCH) thruster with our Finite Element (FE) wave solver.
Lately, I have been working on another exciting topic. After an amazing doctoral stay at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US, we have started the development of new kinetic simulation algorithms that have the potential to be faster than anything before in the EP simulation ecosystem. The Implicit Particle-in-Cell algorithm is promising, but we still have to tackle many challenges until the general application to realistic EP problems. Anyhow, this is why we do research: to expand the state-of-the-art and have some fun along the way! With this new project, which I hope to continue in the frame of ZARATHUSTRA, we are learning a lot about plasma simulation and High-Performance Computing (HPC). Our vision is to become a reference team in the field, and we are working hard toward it. We already have some results, and a journal paper is on the way, so stay tuned! And remember to contact us any time if you are curious or you may want to work with us.