Thermionic power conversion for scramjets and reentry vehicles using nanosecond voltage pulses

Bruce Alderman, Philip Howard, Mikhail Shneider, Boris Pivtorak, Sohail Zaidi, Richard B. Miles

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

3 Scopus citations


Modeling and experimental studies were conducted into the use of nanosecond scale voltage pulses in an inert gas in order to provide positive ions in the interelectrode space of a thermionic power converter. These studies show that even with repetition rates lower than 50kHz, the pulses have the ability to sustain a plasma that will allow the passage and collection of a significant fraction of thermionically emitted current without the application of an external bias. Thus the configuration is capable of operating as a thermionic conversion device. This method of dealing with the space charge retarding force has the potential to be applied to large scale, two dimensional surfaces in a way that has not been successfully implemented with conventional methodologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication39th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479427
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

Name39th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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