The purpose of this paper is to present experimental results on the performance and operating life of a 30-kW plasma jet rocket engine for space propulsion. The arc jet rocket engine is currently the simplest of the different proposed electric propulsion devices. The working fluid is injected into the arc chamber, heated by Joule heating as it passes through the discharge, and is expanded through a conventional nozzle. The nozzle serves to convert the ohmic heating in the electric arc discharge into kinetic energy. No effort is made to produce thrust by the interaction of electromagnetic fields and the working fluid. The arc jet engine is basically similar to the chemical rocket differing only in that energy is introduced into the arc chamber by a continuous electric discharge rather than by chemical reaction.


Molar Enthalpy Rocket Engine Electric Propulsion Specific Impulse Nozzle Pressure Ratio 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1961

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard R. John
    • 1
  • John F. Connors
    • 1
  • A. Mironer
    • 1
  1. 1.AVCO CorporationWilmingtonUSA

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