Accession Number : ADA182348

Title :   Laser-Sustained Plasmas for Application to Rocket Propulsion.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Feb 83-15 Mar 87,

Corporate Author : ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA DEPT OF MECHANICAL AND INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s) : Mazumder,J. ; Krier,H. ; McMillin,B. K. ; Zerkle,D. K. ; Chen,X.

Report Date : 01 APR 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 148

Abstract : Laser propulsion is the production of high specific impulse rocket thrust using a high-energy laser as a remote power source. Specific impulses in excess of 1000 sec are achievable because propellant temperatures are very high and low molecular weight gases can be used. This report highlights the research status of the fourth year of AFOSR sponsored work for converting the laser energy, and reports the results of ongoing experiments using laser-sustained plasma as the conversion mechanism. Major new findings from our spectroscopic techniques to diagnose the laser-sustained plasma are also reported. The results indicate that it is possible to absorb almost all of the laser energy in the plasma, but that more effective ways are required to assure that the thermal energy of the gases flowing around and through the plasma(s) can approach efficiencies exceeding 50 percent. Fundamental research in the area of extremely high temperature gas mixing by forced convection is called for. Techniques by which the gas can reabsorb the radiation energy from the laser-sustained plasma will have to be developed. Keywords: Beamed energy, Propulsion, Laser, Plasma, Formation.

Descriptors :   *ROCKET PROPULSION, *LASERS, CONVERSION, GASES, PROPULSION SYSTEMS, PROPELLANTS, TEMPERATURE, POWER SUPPLIES, REMOTE SYSTEMS, EFFICIENCY, CONVECTION, HIGH ENERGY, ENERGY, PRODUCTION, RADIATION, SPECTROSCOPY, THERMAL RADIATION

Subject Categories : Rocket Engines

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE