Accession Number:

ADA341315

Title:

(HBCU) Thermal-Electric Propulsion With Magnetoplasmadynamic Acceleration

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 May 94-31 Oct 97

Corporate Author:

HAMPTON UNIV VA

Report Date:

1998-01-31

Pagination or Media Count:

21.0

Abstract:

A solar thermal-electric propulsion STEP system has been installed to develop a rocket engine having medium ranges of specific impulse and thrust. The STEP system consisted of a solar thermal and a magnetoplasmadynamic MPD thrusters in a tandem arrangement. The thermal chamber temperature versus the optical power was evaluated to be adequate. Without the DC power on the MPD electrodes, the system merely produce a thermal plume of argon gas. An insitu technique, Pitot tube method, was used to measure the total and static pressures of the core flow of the thermal plume in steady state operation in order to characterize and benchmark so that any increment of thrust and specific impulse resulted from the MPD acceleration. The data were compared with the results of CET93 computer code developed at NASA Lewis Research Center. An increase in the total pressure, therefore the thrust, was found to be proportional to the square of MPD current as expected. The relative increase in total pressure was approximately 40 when the MPD current reached to 500 A.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric and Ion Propulsion
  • Rocket Engines

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE