Results are presented for the performance of a microwave electrothermal thruster utilizing bluff-body and swirling flow stabilized plasmas with helium and nitrogen propellent. Stabilized plasmas have been produced in the TM01, electromagnetic cavity mode with coupling efficiencies approaching 100% and specific powers up to 27.3 MJ/kg. Fluid dynamic measurements indicate specific impulses of up to 543 s, efficiencies of 44-69%, and thrusts of 0.27—0.40 N with helium propellant. Spectroscopic results indicate plasma core electron temperatures of 11, 840-12, 170 K with extremely flat radial profiles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Fuel Technology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science