Experimental and Theoretical Analysis of Pulsed Plasma Exhaust Plumes.
Final rept. 1 Apr 77-31 May 78,
FAIRCHILD INDUSTRIES INC FARMINGDALE N Y FAIRCHILD-REPUBLIC DIV
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Pulsed plasma plume diagnostic studies performed in the past have shown that considerable uncertainty exists because of the degree of backscatter encountered in ground test facilities. The large level of backscatter is attributable to the extremely high mass expulsion rate characteristic of solid propellant pulsed plasma thrusters 30 to 40 gs on the average. The study reported upon herein had the objective of obtaining a suitable analytic model and computational scheme for calculation of the plume characteristics of a 23 mN-s pulsed plasma thruster. The calculated results were compared to experimental measurements of electron number density and temperature, obtained using specially designed Langmuir probes, only up to the point in the time when backscatter of plume effluents off the vacuum chamber walls became significant. A secondary objective of the program was to design a suitable driver circuit for the Langmuir Sangmuir probes so that a voltage ramp could be pulsed for one microsecond at any given time subsequent to thruster discharge initiation and the volt-ampere characteristic could be displayed on an XY oscilloscope.
- Numerical Mathematics
- Combustion and Ignition
- Electric and Ion Propulsion
- Solid Propellant Rocket Engines