PIC-C, Particle In Cell Consulting, LLC. Plasma physics and rarefied gas simulation codes.


Starfish is a general 2D XY/RZ simulation code for studying a wide range of rarefied gas and plasma physics problems. It consists of a core library and a number of plugins that provide additional features. A base version offering the ES-PIC functionality is free for academic and non-commercial use.

  • Core Library
  • Plasma Module (ES-PIC, MCC)
  • Gas Kinetics (DSMC)
  • Fluid Dynamics (CFD/MHD)
  • Space Environment
  • Contamination Module
plasma sheath near a rough wall
Example Starfish simulations: modeling of a Hall thruster (in full version), and sheath modeling with a rough surface (available in LE)

The full-version acts as a plugin that extends the functionality of Starfish-LE. It supports among other things:

  • 2D planar and axisymmetric geometry
  • Multiple rectilinear or elliptic computational meshes
  • Surface definition as a collection of linear or cubic splines
  • Arbitrary number of materials, with support for both fluid and kinetic species
  • Particle-in-cell method for kinetic materials
  • MHD solver for fluid species
  • Material interactions supporting fluid-fluid chemical reactions, particle-fluid MCC, and particle-particle DSMC
  • Support for material outgassing, surface chemistry, deposition, and sputtering
  • Number of available injection sources such as Maxwellian or disretized VDF
  • Multiple electro-magnetic solvers
  • Coupling with our Lynx and Sheath2D codes for multiscale Hall thruster analysis
  • XML input data structure and simulation results in Tecplot or VTK formats

The full version won’t be available for at least few more months (late 2013), however, many of the above features have already been implemented. In addition, we are open to development of custom plugins to support your project. Please use our RFP form to get in touch with us. Please note, the full version of Starfish will be available only to US citizens due to containing some potentially export-controlled technology.