Pulsed plasma thruster variations for improved mission capabilities

C. A. Scharlemann, R. Core, I. G. Mikellides, P. J. Turch, P. G. Mikellides

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


An idealized model in conjunction with simple numerical analysis has been developed to provide physical insights and guidance toward design of consistently efficient PPTs. In addition, the model proposes directions for expanding the PPTs mission capabilities by proper propellant variations. The magnetohydrodynamics code MACH2 has been utilized to refine the aforementioned insights. Four different propellants - Teflon®, water, lithium and cesium - were examined under optimal current waveforms that will minimize the well-known mass inefficiencies. The analysis shows that indeed, the concept of propellant variations Offers a wider envelope of available Thrust-to-Power ratios and thus a higher level of mission applicability for the pulsed plasma thrusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2000 - Huntsville, AL, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2000Jul 19 2000


Other36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHuntsville, AL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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