Thrust enhanced by a magnetic Laval nozzle in an applied-field magneto-plasma-dynamic thruster

Hiroaki Nabuchi, Kiyotaka Suzuki, Yohei Kobayashi, Atsushi Komuro, Kazunori Takahashi, Akira Ando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The thrust imparted by an applied-field magneto-plasma-dynamic thruster is enhanced by superimposing a convergent-divergent magnetic field called a magnetic Laval nozzle. The thrust increases up to 6.9 N by increasing the magnetic field strength at the Laval nozzle throat. It is observed that the plasma flow velocity increases and the ion temperature simultaneously decreases downstream of the throat. A major component of the measured Lorentz force arising from the plasma-induced current is identified to be in the radial direction, while a significant increase in the plasma density is observed upstream of the nozzle. These results imply that the plasma pressure increases upstream of the magnetic Laval nozzle due to an inhibition of the plasma loss, which contributes to the increase of the thrust.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2406033
JournalPlasma and Fusion Research
Volume11
Issue numberSpecialissue1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Electric propulsion
  • High-density plasma
  • Magnetic Laval nozzle
  • Magneto-Plasma-Dynamic (MPD) thruster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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