Analysis of a microwave-heated planar propagating hydrogen plasma

J. P. Knecht, M. M. Micci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The heating of a gas to high temperatures by absorption of microwave radiation has been proposed as a potential electrothermal rocket propulsion system. One possible mode of microwave energy absorption is by means of a planar plasma region propagating toward the source of the microwave radiation. Such a planar propagating plasma can be spatially stabilized by a gas stream flowing in the same direction as the microwave radiation with a velocity equal to the plasma propagation velocity. A one-dimensional analysis of the microwave-heated planar propagating plasma for hydrogen gas was developed to predict maximum gas temperatures and propagation velocities. The governing electromagnetic and energy equations were numerically integrated with temperaturedependent thermodynamic properties of equilibrium hydrogen. The propagation velocity eigenvalue was solved by means of an iterative technique. Temperature distribution in the gas, propagation velocities, and percent power absorbed, reflected and transmitted, were obtained as a function of incident microwave power at a frequency of 2.45 GHz for hydrogen gas pressures of 1 and 10 atm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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