A High Efficiency Plasma Motor
A pulsed coaxial crater gun which generates a plasma from the end of a small diameter metallic wire is capable of converting 32% of the energy in a stored capacitor to kinetic energy of the plasma as measured by a calorimeter. The motor requires no switch, only a small trigger. Its efficiency is constant down to low energy inputs and the gun is operated successful over energy inputs from 3 joules to about 100 joules per pulse. Specific impulses are in the region of 2000 seconds, measurements of speed and shape of the plasma have been obtained with a Kerr cell. Plasma speed has also been measured with a calendulum (combination ballistic pendulum and calorimeter) and with a velocity profile measuring instrument.
KeywordsRocket Motor Specific Impulse Scope Trace Plasma Speed International Astronautical
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