Plasma detachment and momentum transfer in magnetic nozzles

Justin M. Little, Edgar Y. Choueiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nature of momentum transfer and the resulting thrust generation in magnetic nozzles is investigated. First, it is shown analytically using a Green's function formulation that thrust transmission results from the interaction of the magnetic field induced by the currents in the plasma with the current in the applied field coil and is equal and opposite to the integral of the volumetric and surface Lorentz force densities due to the applied magnetic field acting on the plasma. Second, using a two-fluid plasma model, it shown that, contrary to previous belief [Ahedo and Merino, Phys. of Plas., 18(5) 2011], positive thrust production can occur for a detachment mechanism that induces paramagnetic plasma currents, as long as a criterion, which ensures the dominance of the force density due to the diamagnetic current at the plasma-vacuum boundary (which contributes to thrust) over that due to paramagnetic current, which results from the inertial detachment process (and which diminishes thrust), is satisfied. The model also shows that the thrust efficiency suffers with increasing magnetic field divergence and plasma magnetization, which enhance the relative contribution of the paramagnetic current; and that inertial detachment occurs when a hybrid particle of mass mH = (meMi)1/2 becomes demagnetized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781600869495
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Event47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 31 2011Aug 3 2011

Publication series

Name47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011

Other

Other47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period7/31/118/3/11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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    Little, J. M., & Choueiri, E. Y. (2011). Plasma detachment and momentum transfer in magnetic nozzles. In 47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011 (47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2011). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2011-6001