Janus, Mark J.
Winger, Allen Jeff
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Electric propulsion systems utilize electrical energy to produce thrust for spacecraft propulsion. These systems have multiple applications ranging from Earth orbit North-South station keeping to solar system exploratory missions such as NASA’s Discovery, New Frontiers, and Flagship class missions that focus on exploring scientifically interesting targets. In an electromagnetic thruster, a magnetic field interacting with current in an ionized gas (plasma) accelerates the propellant to produce thrust. Pulsed inductive thrusters rely on an electrodeless discharge where both the magnetic field in the plasma and the plasma current are induced by a time-varying current in an external circuit. The multi-dimensional acceleration model for a pulsed inductive plasma thruster consists of a set of circuit equations describing the electrical behavior of the thruster coupled to a one-dimensional momentum equation that allow for estimating thruster performance. Current models lack a method to account for the time-varying energy distribution in an inductive plasma accelerator.
Reneau, Jarred Paul, "Incorporation of an energy equation into a pulsed inductive plasma acceleration model" (2011). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 2684.