Accession Number:

ADA164163

Title:

Laser Thermal Propulsion.

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept. 15 Jan 84-14 Apr 85,

Corporate Author:

TENNESSEE UNIV SPACE INST TULLAHOMA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1985-08-29

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

The principal objective of this research investigation is to determine experimentally the effects of a forced convection environment and optical geometry on the stability, fractional power absorption, plasma structure, and fluid mixing in a laser sustained plasma LSP. A continuous, 1.5 kw, axial flow, carbon dioxide laser was used to create the LSP in a cylindrical quartz flow channel. The convection flowfield surrounding the plasma was controlled by the volume flow through the test chamber, and the optical geometry was determined by the focal length of the lens. Data were obtained for argon plasmas at pressures from 1 to 2.3 atmospheres, mean incident flow velocities to cms and nominal incident laser power of 1 kw. Spatially resolved measurements of the plasma temperature were obtained from spectral images of the LSP and, using these measured temperatures, it was possible to determine the spatially resolved laser power absorption and thermal emission within the plasma. Substantial differences in plasma shape, absorbed power, and pressure dependence were found for lenses of different focal length. Keywords Laser Propulsion Laser Sustained Plasmas Plasma Spectroscopy Argon Plasmas.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric and Ion Propulsion

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE