SPACE PROPULSION BY PLASMA ACCELERATION TECHNIQUES.
Technical information series,
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO PHILADELPHIA PA MISSILE AND SPACE DIV
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Propulsion requirements for space missions necessitate high velocity propellant ejection in order that the total system weight not be dominated by the propellant load. Only the non-thermal, electric acceleration techniques, electrostatic and electromagnetic are realistically capable of meeting these high velocity requirements. Of these two basic classes, the electromagnetic, or plasma, accelerators show promise for ultimate, high thrust applications because of the high energy density capability of the magnetic field. The several plasma thrustor configurations, d-c, induction, pulsed and Hall-current, are considered in terms of basic features and experimental results. The comparative advantages of the pulsed and Hall-current geometries are shown by this survey. Author