A new electrodeless accelerator concept that relies on an rf-assisted discharge, an applied magnetic field, and electromagnetic acceleration using an inductive coil is presented. The presence of a preionized plasma allows for current sheet formation at lower discharge voltages and energies than those found in other pulsed inductive accelerator concepts. A proof-of-concept experiment, supported by optical and probe diagnostics, has been constructed and used to demonstrate low-voltage, low-energy current sheet formation and acceleration. Magnetic field data indicate that the peak sheet velocity in this unoptimized configuration operating at a pulse energy of 78.5 J is 12 km/s. Visual observations indicate that plasma follows the applied magnetic field from the rf discharge to the face of the planar acceleration coil, while magnetic field probing and visualization using a fast-framing camera show the formation and acceleration of the current sheet.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Fuel Technology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science