Modeling of late-time ablation in teflon pulsed plasma thrusters

P. G. Mikellides, P. J. Turchi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The MACH2 code has been modified to include non-monotonic heat flux to ablating surfaces in order to study late-time mass evolution in the pulsed plasma microthruster (PPT). Comparisons of predicted mass ablated and impulse bit with experimental data offer several insights into the operation of the PPT. Only a small fraction of the total ablated mass is produced during the current pulse and has the opportunity to be ionized and magnetically accelerated to high exhaust speeds. The rest gradually evaporates during much later times as a neutral gas that expands at relatively low speeds. Reduction of this low speed mass evolution would significantly improve the specific impulse and efficiency of the thruster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1996 - Lake Buena Vista, United States
Duration: Jul 1 1996Jul 3 1996


Conference32nd Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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