Design and Performance Analysis Study of a Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster
Tutor / directorLizandra Dalmases, José Oriol
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
This study aims to develop a preliminary analysis of a magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD)thruster, a device which represents the next generation of space propulsion technologyfor new interstellar missions, for instance cargo and piloted missions to Mars. In order tounderstand the principles that govern this plasma accelerator, a quasi-1D model and aperformance analysis have been carried out. Quantitative results are shown for differentthruster configurations. The constant area geometry has been found to be limited by theeffects of finite Magnetic Reynolds numbers, which generally determine whether the flowthat exits the thruster is sonic or not. The variable area geometry, contrarily, alwaysensures that the flow finishes being supersonic, forRmranging from 4 to 10. With thistheoretical model, the performance has resulted in nearly twice the common values forMPD thrusters tested in laboratories.
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