Accession Number : ADA190962

Title :   Performance and Long Duration Test of a 30 kw Thermal Arcjet Engine.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 28 Dec 84-30 Nov 86,

Corporate Author : JET PROPULSION LAB PASADENA CA

Personal Author(s) : Pivirotto, T J ; King, D Q ; Brophy, J R ; Deininger, W D

PDF Url : ADA190962

Report Date : Nov 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 99

Abstract : The objective of this effort was to evaluate the lifetime and performance of a 30-kWe constricted arc ammonia arcjet. This engine was based on a design developed by Avco Corporation in 1963 that delivered 978 seconds of specific impulse with ammonia during a 50-hour test. After 573 hours of operation, a short circuit between the cathode and anode of JPL's thruster forced the life test to end. Throughout the 573-hour test, the thruster operated at 24.9 kWe, delivering 2.29 N (0.15 lbs) of thrust, 865 seconds of specific impulse, and 37% efficiency. Although the lifetime of JPL's thruster fell short of AFAL's original 1500-hour goal for the effort, the arcjet demonstrated a duration of over eleven times the lifetime of the 1963 Avco arcjet. Further, the demonstrated lifetime of 576 hours is adequate for many orbit raising missions. Keywords: Electric propulsion; Electrothermal arcjet, Space propulsion.

Descriptors :   *AMMONIA, *ELECTRIC PROPULSION, *SPACE PROPULSION, *ARC JET ENGINES, LIFE TESTS, LONG RANGE(TIME), SHORT CIRCUITS, SPECIFIC IMPULSE, THRUSTERS

Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE