Review of Pulsed Plasma Thruster Development at IRS

Tony SCHÖNHERR, Anuscheh NAWAZ, Matthias LAU, Dejan PETKOW, Georg HERDRICH
2010 TRANSACTIONS OF THE JAPAN SOCIETY FOR AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE SCIENCES AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY JAPAN  
The research and development process of the ablative pulsed plasma thruster SIMP-LEX is summarized. By experiment, the magnetic field in between the electrodes was measured with an induction probe, and a high-speed camera was applied to estimate the propagation of the plasma plume. Further, the optimization process towards higher thrust efficiency by means of geometric and electrical modifications is described. By analysis, the calculation of magnetic field and change in inductance is
more » ... and the numerical models for the performance simulation of SIMP-LEX introduced. A peak value of 0.7 T was found for the magnetic field created during an 80 J discharge whereas a propagation velocity of 28 km/s was estimated for the first plasma plume. The optimization process towards a new engineering model yielded an increase of 40% in mean exhaust velocity to 26 km/s, and a maximum thrust efficiency of 32% was evaluated respectively. Calculation of magnetic field and change in inductance based on the Biot-Savart law yield input for the slug model, which can then predict the general performance parameters with a good accordance.
doi:10.2322/tastj.8.tb_11 fatcat:t2ivelycf5fajfu7vkrmteyvwq