Electrodeless Lorentz Force Thruster for High-Power Propulsion

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA9550-08-C-0036
Agency Tracking Number:
F064-001-0146
Solicitation Year:
2006
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF06-T001
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
MSNW
16436 SE 39th Place, Bellevue, WA, 98008
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
044381445
Principal Investigator:
John Slough
Director of Research
(425) 319-5024
sloughj@comcast.net
Business Contact:
John Slough
President
(425) 319-5024
sloughj@comcast.net
Research Institution:
UNIV. OF WASHINGTON
Catherine Allen
Office of Sponsored Programs
1100 NE 45th St. Suite 300
Seattle, WA, 98105
(206) 616-0636
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The Electrodeless Lorentz Force (ELF) Thruster is a new propulsion device designed to operate at the highest jet powers, well beyond the currently developed electric propulsion thrusters. 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 thrust. The thrust is produced by the rapid acceleration of a compact toroidal plasmoid generated by a non-inductive technique that employs an externally applied rotating magnetic field (RMF). The RMF directly drives large azimuthal currents in the plasma, which together with the radial component of a steady applied magnetic field produce a large axial body force on the plasmoid. The thrust is produced by the action of external fields and thereby the requirement for electrodes is removed. 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 from hydrogen to xenon. The physics of both the plasmoid formation and acceleration has been demonstrated, and this work will extend these results to produce a multi-megawatt thruster at high efficiency and low mass.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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