Accession Number : ADA193765

Title :   A Theoretical Investigation of Laser-Sustained Plasma Thruster.

Descriptive Note : Rept. for 1 Sep 86-31 Aug 87,

Corporate Author : TENNESSEE UNIV SPACE INST TULLAHOMA CENTER FOR LASER APPLICATIONS

Personal Author(s) : Jeng, San-Mou ; Keefer, Dennis

PDF Url : ADA193765

Report Date : 21 Apr 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 13

Abstract : A numerical code has been successfully developed for the investigation of thruster performance using a laser-sustained hydrogen plasma as the propellant. The plasma was sustained using a 10.6 micrometer CO2 laser beam which is focused at different positions within the thruster. The physical model assumed that plasma is in thermodynamically equilibrium (LTE), and geometric ray tracing was adopted to describe the laser beam. The steady-state, axisymmetric, Navier-Stokes equations coupled with the laser power absorption process have been solved numerically. A pressure based Navier-Stokes numerical solver using body-fitted coordinates was used to calculate the laser-supported rocket flow which includes both subsonic and supersonic flow regions. From the limited parametric study, which did not try to optimize the rocket performance, it was found that better performance was obtained when the laser beam was focused closer to the rocket throat.

Descriptors :   *THRUSTERS, *PLASMA ENGINES, *LASER PUMPING, CODING, GEOMETRY, LASER BEAMS, LASERS, MODELS, NAVIER STOKES EQUATIONS, NUMERICAL ANALYSIS, PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS, PERFORMANCE(ENGINEERING), PHYSICAL PROPERTIES, POWER, PRESSURE, RAY TRACING, REGIONS, ROCKETS, SUBSONIC FLOW, SUPERSONIC FLOW, THEORY, THROAT, HYDROGEN, RADIATION ABSORPTION

Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion
      Lasers and Masers
      Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE