Metallic Induction Reaction Engine.
Final rept. 1 Jul 83-30 Jun 84,
ELECTROMAGNETIC LAUNCH RESEARCH INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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Advances in electrical propulsion technology have inspired a variety of approaches for orbit raising propulsion. One such technique, the metallic induction reaction engine, uses a solid metallic reaction mass rather than a gas or plasma to achieve high thrust density and efficiency. The reaction mass is inductively accelerated by a magnetic pulse coil, thereby eliminating the problems of erosion and wear. The basic mechanisms and limits of the conversion of electrical energy into kinetic energy by the metallic induction reaction engine are analyzed. To facilitate this, a single shot experimental engine was constructed and operated over one hundred times, including several tests with conversion efficiencies greater than 50. Further analyses were performed by developing a numerical model. The velocity and current predicted by this model agree to within 15 of the experimental data over the entire range of operation. Extrapolation to higher performance operation has revealed that there are adverse coupling effects and circuit impedance effects which can limit the ultimate performance of the metallic induction reaction engine.
- Electric and Ion Propulsion