Microsecond Timescale Surface Temperature Measurements in Micro-Pulsed Plasma Thrusters
ENGINEERING RESEARCH AND CONSULTING INC(ERC INC) EDWARDS AFB CA
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A time-resolved surface temperature diagnostic for ablation-controlled arcs is in development at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards AFB. The diagnostic draws on heritage from the experimental dynamic crack propagation community which has used photovoltaic infrared detectors to measure temperature rise in materials in the process of fracture. The microsecond time scales involved in the fracture process suggest that such detectors may be applicable to the ablation-controlled discharges in pulsed plasma thrusters as a direct measurement of surface temperature during and after the arc. HgCdTe detectors are evaluated for use on the surface of a micro-pulsed plasma thruster invented at the AFRL. Evaluation of the diagnostic focuses on development of valid calibration methodology and application of the detector in the presence of a plasma. Current calibration techniques are reviewed with physical limitations discussed. Detector response to an operating thruster is examined and future studies involving surface roughness changes are investigated.
- Combustion and Ignition
- Electric and Ion Propulsion