ALABAMA UNIV IN HUNTSVILLE DEPT OF PHYSICS
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Laser-driven mini-thrusters were studied using Delrin and PVC Delrin is a registered trademark of DuPont as propellants. TEA CO2 laser lambda 10.6 microns was used as a driving laser. Coupling coefficients were deduced from two independent techniques force-time curves measured with a piezoelectric sensor and ballistic pendulum. Time-resolved ICCD images of the expanding plasma and combustion products were analyzed in order to determine the main process that generates the thrust. The measurements were also performed in a nitrogen atmosphere in order to test the combustion effects on thrust. A pinhole transmission experiment was performed for the study of the cut-off time when the ablationair breakdown plasma becomes opaque to the incoming laser pulse.
- Lasers and Masers
- Rocket Propellants