Electrodeless Lorentz Force Thruster for High-Power Propulsion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-06-C-0105
Agency Tracking Number: F064-001-0146
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-T001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
MSNW
16436 SE 39th Place, Bellevue, WA, 98008
DUNS: 044381445
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Slough
 Dir. of Research
 (425) 319-5024
 sloughj@comcast.net
Business Contact
 John Slough
Title: President
Phone: (425) 319-5024
Email: sloughj@comcast.net
Research Institution
 UNIV. OF WASHINGTON
 Brian Nelson
 AERB
Seattle, WA, 98195
 (206) 543-6321
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The Electrodeless Lorentz Force (ELF) Thruster is based on recent laboratory results on the formation and acceleration of magnetized plasmoids. The goal of the proposed research is to build and test a prototype that has the potential to surpass all current electric propulsion systems in efficiency, power, and Isp. The thrust is produced by the rapid acceleration of a compact toroidal plasmoid generated by an externally applied rotating magnetic field (RMF). The RMF directly drives an azimuthal current in the plasma, and together with the radial component of the applied magnetic field, produces a large, axial JxB force. Unlike the MPD thruster, the current is produced by the action of external antenna fields and thereby the requirement for electrodes is removed. The toroidal current is sustained by the non-inductive, steady RMF, removing the need for high-voltage pulsed power. The resultant magnetic field confines the plasmoid propellant and the external vacuum magnetic field insulates the thruster wall. The thruster can be operated with a wide range of propellants as RMF plasmas have been generated in a variety of gases from hydrogen to xenon. With a mechanism for generating a large non-thermal plasma flow, and no significant thermal loss channel, the efficiency of the ELF thruster is anticipated to be very high.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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