International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering
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International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering (1 paper in press)
Design and Implementation of Low-Power Low-Cost Quasi Steady-State Magnetoplasmadynamic Propulsion using Ar-He and N2-He Gas Mixtures by Clyde Stoute, Brendan Quine Abstract: Current miniature plasma propulsion technologies use ion or Hall propulsion to provide thrust for miniature satellites. The problem with ion and Hall thrusters is the low thrust-to-power ratio (30 50 mN/kW), and it is not enough for sharp manoeuvres in deep-space missions. Alternatively, magnetoplasmadynamic propulsion provides higher thrust to miniature satellites than ion thrusters without the increase in mass. Magnetoplasmadynamic propulsion is a technology that the plasma is accelerated electromagnetically. This research investigates the design and performance of a low-cost magnetoplasmadynamic thruster built for micro and nano-satellites. Gas mixtures are tested in this research to observe any improvement in the overall performance. The gases used in the thruster are pure helium, nitrogen, and argon; also, gas mixtures of 50% helium 50% nitrogen and 50% helium 50% argon. The specific impulse, impulse bit, thrust efficiency, and thrust-weight ratio of 50% helium 50% nitrogen are 801 seconds, 6.29 Keywords: magnetoplasmadynamics; propulsion; electric; space; astronautics; plasma.