Design Method for Stationary Plasma Thrusters
We propose to use the mature MHD production code, MACH2, to augment the existing analytic and experimental research and development of the Stationary Plasma Thruster (SPT). The SPT is a Hall-type thruster of very high efficiency, making it a promising candidate for the propulsion of microspacecraft on interplanetary missions. We view this approach as innovative since it will allow, for the first time, all of the relevant aspects of this thruster concept to be investigated in a single, self-consistent computational framework. There is no other available code which can include the geometries, field components, and physical models relevant to the SPT and similar applied-field Hall thrusters. This effort will result in significant advances in the understanding and design of the SPT, enabling it to become a useful tool for NASA interplanetary requirements.
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Principal Investigator:Michael H. Frese
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