Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




ROCKET SCIENCE
Performance degradation mechanism of a helicon plasma thruster
by Staff Writers
Sendai, Japan (SPX) May 17, 2015


(a) Photograph of the helicon plasma thruster at Tohoku University. (b) The measured plasma pressure profile and the particle dynamics relating to the loss of axial momentum loss. Image courtesy Kazunori Takahashi. For a larger version of this image please go here.

A part of the performance degradation mechanism of the advanced, electrodeless, helicon plasma thruster with a magnetic nozzle, has been revealed by the research group of Dr. Kazunori Takahashi and Prof. Akira Ando at Tohoku University's Department of Electrical Engineering.

An electric propulsion device is a main engine, and a key piece of technology for space development and exploration. Charged particles are produced by electric discharge and accelerated, i.e. momentum is transferred to them via electromagnetic fields. The thrust force is equivalent to the momentum exhausted by the device, and the spacecraft can thus be propelled into space.

Mature electric propulsion devices such as ion engines, hall thrusters and magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters have electrodes exposed to the plasmas. Ion sputtering and erosion damage these exposed electrodes over time. For propulsion systems that are used over a long period, electrodeless propulsion devices have been suggested and rigorously researched as an alternative option. These are represented by the Variable Specific Impulse Magneto-plasma Rocket (VASIMR) and the helicon plasma thruster.

In the helicon plasma thruster concept, the charged particles in a high density helicon plasma source is guided to the open source exit and accelerated by the magnetic nozzle via a magnetic expansion process.

Various gain and loss processes of the particle momentum occur in the thruster, significantly affecting the propulsive performance, where the thrust force is equivalent to the momentum exhausted from the system.

It has been considered that the major momentum loss occurs at the source lateral wall, where the "radial" momentum is transferred to the wall via an electrostatic ion acceleration in the plasma sheath.

This might be true. Although the loss of the axial momentum there has been treated as negligible, data from experiments clearly show the presence of the "axial" momentum lost to the lateral wall, which is transferred by the radially lost ions.

This significant axial momentum loss seems to have originated from the internal axial electric field in the plasma core, which appears to be more enhanced by the highly ionized plasmas for the future high power operation of the helicon plasma thruster. More detailed understanding of the plasma dynamics will hopefully lead to further development of the advanced high power and electrodeless electric propulsion device.

The detailed observations of the momentum loss will be published by the American Physical Society in their journal Physical Review Letters on May 8.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Tohoku University
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ROCKET SCIENCE
Engineers Test Hydrogen Burn-off Igniters for Space Launch System
Huntsville AL (SPX) May 15, 2015
NASA has a certain "flare" when it comes to safety on the launch pad. Those flares are called hydrogen burn-off igniters - which resemble celebratory sparklers - and were successfully used to mitigate risk to a launch vehicle for space shuttle missions. A team of engineers is testing hydrogen burn-off igniters for NASA's Space Launch System at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsvi ... read more


ROCKET SCIENCE
NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

European Space Agency Director Wants to Set Up a Moon Base

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

ROCKET SCIENCE
Technique for finding signs of life on the Red Planet

Mystery Methane on Mars: The Saga Continues

Auroras on Mars

Quick Detour by NASA Mars Rover Checks Ancient Valley

ROCKET SCIENCE
Russia races to replace Sarah Brightman as space tourist

Photonic Laser Thruster Propels Simulated Spacecraft

Potentially Revolutionary Mission Heading for 2016 Launch

High-tech Analysis of Orion Heat Shield Underway

ROCKET SCIENCE
3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

ROCKET SCIENCE
ISS Partners Adjust Spacecraft Schedule

Samantha's longer stay on ISS

Italian astronaut shows how to use restroom on ISS online

Russia delays return of ISS crew members after supply ship failure

ROCKET SCIENCE
Report: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket certified to fly NASA missions

DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 integrated for Ariane 5 heavy-lift mission

Russia to Launch US Comms Satellite Into Space

Fifth Vega takes shape for its flight with Sentinel-2A

ROCKET SCIENCE
Weather forecasts for planets beyond our solar system

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

Astronomers detect drastic atmospheric change in super Earth

New exoplanet too big for its star

ROCKET SCIENCE
Researchers develop artificial membranes with programmable surfaces

Tiny silicone spheres come out of the mist

OPALS Boosts Space-to-Ground Optical Communications Research

Patria Space unit now part of RUAG




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.