Characterization of An Exploding Micro-Wire Pulsed Plasma Thruster
Mejia Montano, Diego
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Pulsed Plasma Thrusters typically live in the low-range efficiency realm compared to other types of electric propulsion thrusters. In an attempt to explore if any added benefits could be gained from experimenting with a new propellant type, additional physics had to be incorporated into the classical RLC model approach. A study into modeling how a micro-wire propellant would react when subjected to energy deposition via current-driven heating was undertaken. Once a first-order estimate, verified with computational estimates, was obtained then the classical RLC series circuit model could be used to compare and validate the results obtained from experimentation. It was found that while the proposed propellant type is feasible, it produced performance differences that could not be explained solely by the classical model and a more exhaustive investigation into various phenomena will have to be pursued.