Magneto Gas Dynamics Model of the Inter-Electrode Flow in a Pulsed Plasma Thruster.
Final rept. May 81-May 82,
LOUISIANA STATE UNIV BATON ROUGE DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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A set of basic equations necessary to model the acceleration of the plasma produced by a millipound pulsed plasma thruster is presented and discussed. Various simplifying assumptions and approximations typically made in the derivation of magnetogasdynamic equations are examined in light of available experimental data. In particular, it is shown that the mean free path and Debye shielding length are appropriate to the assumption of a neutral continuum with pressure and Lorentz force dominating the acceleration. The neglect of displacement current is also justified and a case is made for the assumption of scalar rather than tens or thermal and electrical conductivities and the neglect of viscous effects. The possibility of describing the flow with a model of fewer than three dimensions is discussed and a drastically simplified one-dimensional model is presented, along with a discussion of its limitations and shortcomings. A finite difference algorithm for the one-dimensional model is presented, but difficulties, apparently arising from incorrect boundary conditions prevented meaningful numerical experimentation. Additional investigation of this problem has been undertaken through a program at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, and the results will appear in an AFRPL report. Author
- Numerical Mathematics
- Rocket Engines