The Concept of a Hybrid Pulsed Plasma Thruster for Small-Size Space Satellites
- 5 Downloads
A concept of a hybrid plasma source to be used as a micro satellite thruster is proposed, where the propellant is a liquid gallium–indium alloy. The plasma source operates in two modes: 1) generation of laser ablation plasma and 2) generation of plasma in a laser-triggered, low-voltage vacuum-arc discharge. The cathode in the discharge cell of the source represents a stainless-steel capillary filled with the working liquid. The laser beam target is the working liquid meniscus. Without any voltage in the discharge gap, only laser-ablated plasma is generated. Upon application of even a relatively low voltage (<1 kV), the ablation initiates a high-current vacuum-arc discharge. In the experiments, the discharge current and voltage waveforms were recorded and so were the images of plasma glow obtained with a HSFC-Pro 4-channel high-speed camera. Regularities of current flow in the high-current vacuum-arc discharge, initiated by the cathode laser ablation, are investigated.
Keywordslaser ablation high-current vacuum-arc discharge hybrid plasma source plasma thruster of a micro satellite
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.C. R. Phipps, et al., US Patent No. 6530212 B1, March 11 (2003).Google Scholar
- 2.A. N. Chumakov, A. S. Grabtchikov, V. A. Orlovich, et al., Proc. 7th Belarusian-Russian Workshop: Semiconductor Lasers and Systems, 124–128 (in Russian), Minsk, Belarus (2009).Google Scholar
- 3.S. A. Popov, A. N. Panchenko, A. V. Batrakov, et al., IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci., 39, No. 6, Part 1, 1412–1417 (2011).Google Scholar
- 4.J. Schein, N. Qi, R. Binder, et al., Proc. 27th Int. Electric Propulsion Conf. (27th IEPC), Pasadena, California (2001). IEPC-01-228.Google Scholar
- 5.M. Karima, H. Horisawa, and Y. Oigawa, Proc. 33rd Int. Electric Propulsion Conf. (33rd IEPC), Washington, DC (2013). IEPC-2013-193.Google Scholar
- 6.Kurt A. Polzin, J. Propulsion and Power, 27, No. 3, 513–531 (2011).Google Scholar
- 7.G. A. Mesyats and D. I. Proskurovsky, Pulsed Electrical Discharge in Vacuum, Springer Verlag, Berlin (1989).Google Scholar