Session

poster

Location

Space Dynamics Laboratory, Auditorium Rooms D & E

Start Date

5-9-2022 9:55 AM

End Date

5-9-2022 10:45 AM

Description

A Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) uses Ion Cyclotron Resonant Heating (IRCH) to heat a plasma near a magnet nozzle. Thrust is generated as the plasma expands through the nozzle. A VASIMR is expected to develop several Newtons of thrust and exhaust velocities of up to 50,000 m/s. Although the VASIMR plasma is collisional, an upper limit of the efficiency of a VASIMR may be explored by modeling the pumping of the magnetic moment of an ion with circularly polarized IRCH RF fields.

Nominally the magnetic moment of an ion, which is the ratio of its perpendicular kinetic energy to the magnetic field strength, is constant in a slowly changing magnetic field. Applying an RF electric field at the same frequency with which ions naturally gyrate in the magnetic field allows the magnetic moment to be increased, or pumped. Thrust is generated when an ion moves to weak regions of the magnetic field, where perpendicular velocity is converted to parallel velocity along the magnetic field.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 09, 2023

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May 9th, 9:55 AM May 9th, 10:45 AM

Simulated ICRH in a VASIMR

Space Dynamics Laboratory, Auditorium Rooms D & E

A Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) uses Ion Cyclotron Resonant Heating (IRCH) to heat a plasma near a magnet nozzle. Thrust is generated as the plasma expands through the nozzle. A VASIMR is expected to develop several Newtons of thrust and exhaust velocities of up to 50,000 m/s. Although the VASIMR plasma is collisional, an upper limit of the efficiency of a VASIMR may be explored by modeling the pumping of the magnetic moment of an ion with circularly polarized IRCH RF fields.

Nominally the magnetic moment of an ion, which is the ratio of its perpendicular kinetic energy to the magnetic field strength, is constant in a slowly changing magnetic field. Applying an RF electric field at the same frequency with which ions naturally gyrate in the magnetic field allows the magnetic moment to be increased, or pumped. Thrust is generated when an ion moves to weak regions of the magnetic field, where perpendicular velocity is converted to parallel velocity along the magnetic field.