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A review of low-power applied-field magnetoplasmadynamic thruster research and the development of an improved performance model

journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-23, 03:20 authored by Jakob Balkenhohl, Jakub GlowackiJakub Glowacki, Nicholas Rattenbury, John Cater
AbstractNumerous thrust and voltage models for applied-field magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters (AF-MPDTs) exist, however, all have been formulated using data for conventionally high current AF-MPDTs. To address a perceived gap in knowledge about smaller thrusters, a review of low-power applied-field magnetoplasmadynamic thruster research and published thrust and voltage models is presented. Using available experimental data limited to a low-power high magnetic field strength regime, a database of pertinent physical and operational parameters is established and used in a comparative study to evaluate the accuracy of published performance models. Statistical analysis of the models was used to create a corrected low-power AF-MPDT performance model. When applied to the database, an improvement in model accuracy is achieved. It is found that AF-MPDTs in the low-power regime with high applied magnetic field strengths can present a feasible alternative to other electric propulsion methods. However, the resulting sensitivity of achievable performance to physical and operational parameters requires careful design and optimization for a given mission.

Funding

High-magnetic-field Plasma Propulsion Systems Enabling Next Generation Small Satellite Missions | Funder: MINISTRY OF BUSINESS INNOVATION AND EMPLOYMENT

History

Preferred citation

Balkenhohl, J., Glowacki, J., Rattenbury, N. & Cater, J. (n.d.). A review of low-power applied-field magnetoplasmadynamic thruster research and the development of an improved performance model. Journal of Electric Propulsion, 2(1), 1-. https://doi.org/10.1007/s44205-022-00036-5

Journal title

Journal of Electric Propulsion

Volume

2

Issue

1

Pagination

1

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication status

Published online

Online publication date

2023-01-10

ISSN

2731-4596

eISSN

2731-4596

Article number

1

Language

en