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Direct thrust measurements and modelling of a radio-frequency expanding plasma thruster

Lafleur, T.; Takahashi, K.; Charles, C.; Boswell, R. W.


It is shown analytically that the thrust from a simple plasma thruster (in the absence of a magnetic field) is given by the maximum upstream electron pressure, even if the plasma diverges downstream. Direct thrust measurements of a thruster are then performed using a pendulum thrust balance and a laser displacement sensor. A maximum thrust of about 2 mN is obtained at 700 W for a thruster length of 17.5 cm and a flow rate of 0.9 mg s1, while a larger thrust of 4 mN is obtained at a similar...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2011
Type: Journal article
Source: Physics of Plasmas
DOI: 10.1063/1.3610570


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