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Theoretical studies of plasma detachment in the VASIMR magnetic nozzle
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, theoretical studies are conducted to see whether plasma will detach from the magnetic field lines of the VASIMR thruster, and if so, at which location detachment takes place. A magnetic field similar to the field of the VASIMR VF-24 engine [1] is used and ions of different speed and massare sent from various radial positions in the exhaust. Calculation with different values of the anomalous resistivity parameter ωτ is conducted and the sensitivity to this parameter is studied. The validity of the method is studied by comparing results to previous work by Carl Wesslén [2]. From the results it is concluded that using heavy ions sent at high speeds will achieve detachment and high thrust efficiency, even when assuming relatively high values of ωτ. Ejecting ions at a slower pace or using lighter ions will make the engine less efficient, requiring low ωτ which is difficult to achieve. For some combinations of mass and speed, detachment is not possible at all. Ions with heavy mass are recommended to use as propellant for this type of thruster.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 41 p.
EES Examensarbete / Master Thesis, XR-EE-SPP 2012:011
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Aerospace Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104078OAI: diva2:562978
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering -Engineering Physics
Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2012-10-26 Last updated: 2012-11-08Bibliographically approved

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Space and Plasma Physics
Fusion, Plasma and Space PhysicsAerospace Engineering

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