Accession Number : ADA552527

Title :   Magnetic Nozzles for Plasma Thrusters: Acceleration, Thrust, and Detachment Mechanisms

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 25 Aug 2010-25 Aug 2011


Personal Author(s) : Ahedo, Eduardo A ; Merino, Mario

Full Text :

Report Date : Oct 2011

Pagination or Media Count : 98

Abstract : Significant achievements have been made on the understanding of the 2D plasma expansion and detachment on a magnetic nozzle. An advanced fluid model and code have been built. Key clarifications of main processes have been unveiled, which dispute some previous theories. The subject will benefit greatly from continuing the research along the following lines: 1. Analysis of the effect of an adiabatic model for electrons. The issue is whether the vanishing of pressure can modify qualitatively the far beam behaviour. 2. Extension of the study to more general conditions on ion flow at the entrance, such as ion swirl and hot ions, of interest for plasma sources. 3. Completion of the study of plasma detachment via demagnetization. The aim is to confirm present results, to solve the issue of formation of magnetic singularities, and to match with nonzero-beta plasma from the source. 4. Extension of plasma model beyond turning point of the magnetic nozzle. It is needed to analyze the far beam. It requires a more sophisticated integration technique. 5. Plasma detachment via non-neutral separation. This is a proposed mechanism whose analysis requires completing the previous task. 6. Development of the hybrid code, which, beyond supporting the fluid code, will allow consideration of new aspects and effects, such as plasma resistivity, ion gyroradius effects, the matching with the internal source, and probably the transition to an unmagnetized plume.


Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE