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Joint Propulsion Conference, 8-11 July 2007, Cincinnati, OH Performance Modeling of an RF Coaxial Plasma
 

Summary: 2007-5292
Joint Propulsion Conference, 8-11 July 2007, Cincinnati, OH
Performance Modeling of an RF Coaxial Plasma
Thruster
William B. Stein
, Alina A. Alexeenko
, and Ivana Hrbud
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 49707, U.S.A.
Evgeniy Bondar§
Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
The RF plasma thruster has considerable potential to ease the impact of severe con-
straints on power, mass, volume and lifetime of microsatellite propulsion systems. This
concept is classified as an electrothermal propulsion system and exploits RF capacitively
coupled discharge (RFCCD) for heating of a propellant. The plasma is characterized as a
low-power discharge possessing a low-current density with high uniformity and propagating
through low-pressure gas. To assess computationally the thruster's propulsive capabilities
as a function of mass flow rate, electrode separation, RF frequency and power input, a
numerical model comprises particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo (PIC/MCC) and Direct Simula-
tion Monte Carlo (DSMC) algorithms. Thruster performance is investigated by permuting
electrode geometry (0.5 - 2 cm), chamber pressure (0.05 - 50 Torr), applied voltage (100 -

  

Source: Alexeenko, Alina - School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University

 

Collections: Engineering