Accession Number : AD0907752

Title :   Pusher Plate Ablation Study.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. Sep 71-Sep 72,

Corporate Author : LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB NM

Personal Author(s) : Balcomb, J. Douglas ; Bankston, Charles A. ; Blackstock, Albert W. ; Hedstrom, JAMES C.

Report Date : JAN 1973

Pagination or Media Count : 48

Abstract : Results of a combined experimental and analytical investigation are reported, aimed at gaining insight into ablation phenomena caused by the impact of a short-pulsed high-energy plasma on the pusher plate of a space vehicle propelled by thermonuclear reactions. Ablation losses of aluminum, polyethylene, phenolic, and grease, caused by impacting high-speed neon from a coaxial plasma gun were measured. Gas velocities were as high as 16 million cm/s and surface pressures reached 2.8 kbar. Corresponding ablation losses ranged from approximately 2 mg/sq cm for polyethylene to as much as approximately 28 mg/sq cm for aluminum. Calculations indicate that even much higher energy pulses would not cause ablation severe enough to significantly degrade the performance of a pulsed-propulsion space vehicle. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*SPACECRAFT NUCLEAR PROPULSION, THERMONUCLEAR REACTIONS), (*SHEETS, ABLATION), (*METAL PLATES, ABLATION), PLASMA JETS, ALUMINUM, POLYETHYLENE PLASTICS, PHENOLIC PLASTICS, GREASES, NEON, GAS FLOW, PULSES, VELOCITY, EXPERIMENTAL DATA, NUMERICAL ANALYSIS.

Subject Categories : Nuclear Propulsion

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE