Numerical modeling of a low energy pulsed inductive thruster

Pavlos Mikellides, James K. Villarreal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Numerical modeling of a pulsed inductive thruster utilized a time-dependant, two-dimensional, axisymmetric magnetohydrodynamics MACH2 code to predict operation at low energy levels for a range of propellants and propellant mass values. Previous numerical efforts with pulsed inductive thruster modeling for medium and high energy cases agree well with available experimental data and have established confidence in MACH2's ability to capture the pertinent physical processes. The high energy pulsed inductive thruster simulations were recently performed using a power circuit model augmented with a plasma voltage algorithm that accounts for the propellant's time-dependant resistance and inductance to properly account for plasma dynamic effects. The updated circuit model was found to self-consistently calculate the experimentally measured current waveform profile for the first half period with excellent correlation effectively capturing the dominant acceleration phase of the plasma. These preceding efforts are now extended to the low power regime, where insights can be made into improving efficiencies beyond which has yet to be shown experimentally by designing the current waveform to capture the dominant acceleration phase of the current profile with no subsequent ineffectual current reversal. Current waveform optimization is discussed as well as an examination of the effects of different propellant pre-ionization conditions. Various propellant mass values are investigated under this novel power circuit model to guide future design and optimization of high efficiency low power pulsed inductive thrusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
StatePublished - 2008
Event44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit - Hartford, CT, United States
Duration: Jul 21 2008Jul 23 2008

Publication series

Name44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit

Other

Other44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
CountryUnited States
CityHartford, CT
Period7/21/087/23/08

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Energy(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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