Accession Number:

ADA199825

Title:

Advanced Electric Propulsion MPD (Magnetoplasmadynamic)

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 Jun 1985-31 Mar 1987

Corporate Author:

PRINCETON UNIV NJ DEPT OF MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1988-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

38.0

Abstract:

Mangnetoplasmadynamic MPD thrusters are inherently low thrust devices, consequently operation for hundreds to thousands of hours will be required to impart useful levels of total impulse. Experience at Princeton and in other laboratories indicates that the cathode of these devices suffers the most severe damage in the hostile environment of the high current discharge, therefore representing the life-limiting component. To explore the physical mechanisms responsible for cathode degradation, a new diagnostic tool has been developed - the surface layer activation SLA technique - to monitor erosive loss. This method was chosen in the Phase I portion of this contract from several alternatives because it provides highly accurate, in-situ measurements of erosive mass loss and can be readily applied to a wide variety of materials and environments. Concurrent programs of erosion measurement on experimental MPD thrusters using this technique and supporting analytical modelling of the erosion process are now being pursued.

Subject Categories:

  • Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE