Accession Number : ADA194931

Title :   Energy Conversion Measurements in Laser-Sustained Argon Plasmas for Application to Rocket Propulsion.

Descriptive Note : Final technical rept. 18 Feb 87-17 Feb 88,

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

Personal Author(s) : Krier, Herman ; Mazumder, Jyoti ; Zerkle, David K ; Mertogul, Ayhan ; Schwartz, Scott

PDF Url : ADA194931

Report Date : 15 Apr 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 86

Abstract : Laser Propulsion is the production of high specific impulse rocket thrust using a high power laser as a remote energy source. Specific impulses in excess of 1000 seconds are achievable because propellant temperatures are very high and low molecular weight gases can be used. This report focuses on the energy conversion mechanisms of laser-sustained plasmas in flowing argon. The status of AFOSR sponsored experiments to determine thermal efficiency and global absorption is detailed. An improved testing facility has allowed plasma operating conditions never before possible. The results indicate that nearly all of the input laser power can be absorbed by a plasma. Plasmas at elevated gas pressure have been tested, and preliminary results presented. Optimal operating conditions have yet to be determined for the available laser powers and gas pressures. Further experimentation at very high argon gas velocities ( 20 m/s) must be performed in order to completely characterize plasma behavior. Keywords: Beamed energy propulsion, Laser plasma formation.

Descriptors :   *ENERGY CONVERSION, *PLASMAS(PHYSICS), *ROCKET PROPULSION, ABSORPTION, BEHAVIOR, EFFICIENCY, ENERGY, GASES, GLOBAL, HIGH POWER, HIGH PRESSURE, INPUT, LASERS, MEASUREMENT, POWER, PRESSURE, PRODUCTION, PROPELLANTS, PROPULSION SYSTEMS, TEMPERATURE, THERMAL PROPERTIES

Subject Categories : Rocket Engines
      Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE