Propulsion Research on the Variable Tandem Mirror Plasma Rocket.
Final rept. 1 Feb 92-31 Jan 94,
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE PLASMA FUSION CENTER
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This report describes the progress made in the past two years as well as the overall picture of this research. In the past years, several-milestones have been achieved towards the realization of a practical space plasma thruster from the tandem mirror rocket experiment, i.e. the specific impulse, thrust, energy conversion efficiency, and mass flow-rate have been determined. The experiment operates at 9.4 kW of input power at an rf-to-plasma efficiency of 68 The ion temperature is 172 eV 2,000,000 K which gives an I sub sp of 12, 852 s. The thrust is 76 mN milli Newton which is a high value for a low input power 9.4 kW and very high I sub sp, 12,852 s. The radiation loss was found to be very low. Most important, these results fall within our prediction.
- Electric and Ion Propulsion
- Rocket Engines