Accession Number:

ADA190962

Title:

Performance and Long Duration Test of a 30 kw Thermal Arcjet Engine.

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 28 Dec 84-30 Nov 86,

Corporate Author:

JET PROPULSION LAB PASADENA CA

Report Date:

1987-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

99.0

Abstract:

The objective of this effort was to evaluate the lifetime and performance of a 30-kWe constricted arc ammonia arcjet. This engine was based on a design developed by Avco Corporation in 1963 that delivered 978 seconds of specific impulse with ammonia during a 50-hour test. After 573 hours of operation, a short circuit between the cathode and anode of JPLs thruster forced the life test to end. Throughout the 573-hour test, the thruster operated at 24.9 kWe, delivering 2.29 N 0.15 lbs of thrust, 865 seconds of specific impulse, and 37 efficiency. Although the lifetime of JPLs thruster fell short of AFALs original 1500-hour goal for the effort, the arcjet demonstrated a duration of over eleven times the lifetime of the 1963 Avco arcjet. Further, the demonstrated lifetime of 576 hours is adequate for many orbit raising missions. Keywords Electric propulsion Electrothermal arcjet, Space propulsion.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric and Ion Propulsion

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE