STUDY OF THE ENERGY ADDITION PROCESS IN A D-C ARC-JET
ARNOLD ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT CENTER ARNOLD AFB TN
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The thrust produced by a d-c arc-jet plasma generator operating with argon was measured and used to determine the division of the energy added to the gas between that which produced excitation and ionization and that which served to increase the translational energy of the gas. Energy division predicted by the Rayleigh heat addition theory was compared with the experimental determination and was found to be in fair agreement 15 to 30 percent. The plasma generator was operated at electrical power inputs ranging from 1.9 to 3.8 kw. Energy losses to the electrodes amounted to about 30 percent, so that about 70 percent of the total electrical energy input was actually added to the gas. The amounts of energy added to the gas ranged from 220 to 440 Btulb-m at an argon flow rate of 0.00527 lb-msec. On the average, only about 40 percent of this energy addition was utilized to increase the total translational energy of the gas, and the remainder served to produce electronic excitation and ionization.
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Electric and Ion Propulsion