Pulsed Plasma Propulsion Technology.
Interim rept. 10 May 72-10 Mar 73,
FAIRCHILD REPUBLIC CO FARMINGDALE N Y
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A performance level compatible with the goal of 30 thrust efficiency at 1500 seconds specific impulse set for this program was successfully demonstrated with the parallel rail pulsed ablative thruster using Telfon propellant. Three studies were carried out in order to achieve this objective-parametric variations in which the effects of interelectrode spacing and electrode angle were evaluated propellant studies wherein the performance of alternative thermoplastics was compared to Teflon and Teflon was seeded with elements having low ionization potentials for performance evaluation and energy transfer studies, undertaken to assess quantitatively the major energy loss mechanisms associated with the thruster. Results of the parametric variations showed that a 20 degrees included angle between electrodes yields optimal performance at discharge energies up to 450J. At higher energies performance appears to be insensitive to this parameter. It was also demonstrated that increasing the interelectrode spacing leads to higher specific impulse and lower thrusterpower at a given discharge energy. Modified author abstract
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