Accession Number : ADA316748

Title :   Propellant Feed Control for Ion Engines.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Starling, Dan A., Jr

PDF Url : ADA316748

Report Date : JUN 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 86

Abstract : An overview of space electric propulsion (SEP) is presented. Methods of throttling the power levels of electrostatic and electromagnetic thrusters are discussed. Particular attention is given to the concept of thermally-throttling propellant flow using the temperature-viscosity characteristics of xenon gas. The thermoproperties of xenon gas as a function of temperature are determined, and the flow regimes of the propellant at the mass flow rates of interest are studied. The propellant flow is presented separately as Fanno flow and as Rayleigh flow, and then those combined effects are considered. A method for predicting the performance of thermally-throttled systems is presented. Uncertainties in modeling real-world thermal throttling systems are discussed. The possible use of thermal throttling characteristics as a means of propellant pressure regulation is also examined.

Descriptors :   *ION ENGINES, *ELECTRIC PROPULSION, *SPACE PROPULSION, *PROPELLANT CONTROL, THERMAL PROPERTIES, CONTROL, POWER LEVELS, THROTTLING, GASES, PROPELLANTS, MASS FLOW, FLOW RATE, FLOW, FEEDING, XENON, THRUSTERS, ELECTROMAGNETISM, FEED MECHANISMS, PRESSURE REGULATORS.

Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion
      Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE