Modeling the Exhaust of the Pulsed Plasma Thruster.
Final rept. 1 Jun-15 Aug 80,
LOUISIANA STATE UNIV BATON ROUGE DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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The work presented in this report is an investigation of the plasma flow on a Teflon Pulsed Plasma Thruster PPT, and the resulting plume. The long range goal is a theoretical model of the flow, both between and beyond the thruster electrodes, that could aid in the improvement of performance, and also predict the contamination potential of the device. The overall model required consists of an internal portion interfaced with an external portion at the exit plane of the electrodes. Most of this report deals with the internal portion of the model. Specifically, the physics of the discharge and plasma acceleration between the electrodes are discussed, and a mathematical model is developed which appears to be consistant with the available experimental data. The investigation shows the necessity of certain additional information without which the model cannot be properly exercised. The validity of certain assumptions of magnetohydrodynamic theory is demonstrated for the nontypical plasma produced by the PPT, and logical consequences of the assumptions are considered vis a vis recently obtained electromagnetic data. A major difficulty in the modeling of the internal flow is the selection of the proper boundary conditions to be applied to the solution domain. These include conditions at the electrodes, the insulator, the ablating Teflon surfaces, and the interface with the vacuum ahead of, and behind, the plasma blobs. Keywords include Pulsed plasma Plume modeling Teflon pulsed plasma.
- Electric and Ion Propulsion