Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1

Publications

1 Study on Plasma Creation and Propagation in a Pulsed Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster

Authors: Tony Schönherr, Kimiya Komurasaki, Georg Herdrich

Abstract:

The performance and the plasma created by a pulsed magnetoplasmadynamic thruster for small satellite application is studied to understand better the ablation and plasma propagation processes occurring during the short-time discharge. The results can be applied to improve the quality of the thruster in terms of efficiency, and to tune the propulsion system to the needs required by the satellite mission. Therefore, plasma measurements with a high-speed camera and induction probes, and performance measurements of mass bit and impulse bit were conducted. Values for current sheet propagation speed, mean exhaust velocity and thrust efficiency were derived from these experimental data. A maximum in current sheet propagation was found by the high-speed camera measurements for a medium energy input and confirmed by the induction probes. A quasilinear tendency between the mass bit and the energy input, the current action integral respectively, was found, as well as a linear tendency between the created impulse and the discharge energy. The highest mean exhaust velocity and thrust efficiency was found for the highest energy input.

Keywords: electric propulsion, low-density plasma, pulsed magnetoplasmadynamicthruster, space engineering.

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