Control and Propulsion of an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Ring

SHPANIN, Leon, JONES, Gordon R., SPENCER, Joseph W. and DJAKOV, Boyan E. (2008). Control and Propulsion of an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Ring. IEEE transactions on plasma science, 36 (5), 2795-2800.

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A new approach for the electromagnetic control and propulsion of a current carrying electric arc plasma ring is described. The essence of the approach is to form and manipulate the arc plasma outside rather than inside an electromagnetic field (B-field) producing coil so that pulsed plasma thrusts can be produced in a choice of different directions. The interaction of the electric arc, formed in atmospheric pressure air, with such B-field has been investigated. It has been shown that a stable azimuthal plasma ring can rapidly be produced by the simple process of separating two annular contacts. Pulsed plasma propulsion is obtained when the arc plasma, and B-field sustaining current is automatically reduced to zero, whereby the constraining electromagnetic forces are removed and, as a consequence, the resulting plasma ring radially expands outwards. Several different measurement techniques have been deployed for investigating the behavior of the plasma ring. These include electrical probing, B-field probing, and high-speed plus video photography. Experimental results are shown to be in good agreement with theoretical estimates based upon a Sedov's self-similar model.

Item Type: Article
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Engineering and Mathematics
Identification Number:
Page Range: 2795-2800
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 11:47
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:45

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