Pulsed Plasma Propulsion Technology.
Final rept. 3 Apr 72-30 Jul 73,
TRW SYSTEMS GROUP REDONDO BEACH CALIF
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An experimental investigation was conducted with two separate objectives. One was the demonstration of 30 efficiency with the pulsed inductive plasma thruster the other was the development of energy storage capacitors capable of delivering 10 to the 8th power pulse discharges at an energy storage density of 40 joules per pound. The latter objectives was met with a paper-K film dielectric sandwich impregnated with castor oil and an extended foil capacitor construction. The former objective was not met although substantial progress was made by the use of preionization prior to the capacitor discharge. The thruster employed a 30 cm diameter flat spiral coil to induce a plasma current sheet in the propellant when a 675 joule capacitor bank 15 kv was discharged through it. The propellant was a layer of gas injected in a thin layer over the coil by a fast-acting gas valve. Both argon and xenon were investigated. Modified author abstract
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