Theoretical model for applied-field MPD thrusters

Pavlos G. Mikellides, Peter J. Turchi, Norman F. Roderick

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Numerical modeling of the NASA LeRC 100 kW, steady-state, applied-field MPD thruster is performed using the magnetohydrodynamics code, MACH2, for a range of applied magnetic field strengths and discharge currents. Overall performance trends, obtained experimentally, are captured by the simulations. Magnitudes of plasma voltage versus applied field strength also agree well. Interrogation of the calculated flow field offers a new visualization of applied-field MPD thruster operation, comprising the following elements: a) the back electromotive force is the dominant contributor to the plasma voltage for the geometry examined. b) viscous forces oppose applied azimuthal electromagnetic forces and limit the maximum rotational speed to a constant independent of applied field or current value. c) viscous heating and conversion of thermal energy to axial directed kinetic energy is the main acceleration mechanism. d) the low density, low conductivity plasma for the regime examined does not interact with the applied field in the manner of a magnetic nozzle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes
Event31st Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1995 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 10 1995Jul 12 1995

Other

Other31st Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1995
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period7/10/957/12/95

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical model for applied-field MPD thrusters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Mikellides, P. G., Turchi, P. J., & Roderick, N. F. (1995). Theoretical model for applied-field MPD thrusters. Paper presented at 31st Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1995, San Diego, United States.