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The PIT MkV pulsed inductive thrusterThe pulsed inductive thruster (PIT) is an electrodeless, magnetic rocket engine that can operate with any gaseous propellant. A puff of gas injected against the face of a flat (spiral) coil is ionized and ejected by the magnetic field of a fast-rising current pulse from a capacitor bank discharge. Single shot operation on an impulse balance has provided efficiency and I(sub sp) data that characterize operation at any power level (pulse rate). The 1-m diameter MkV thruster concept offers low estimated engine mass at low powers, together with power capability up to more than 1 MW for the 1-m diameter design. A 20 kW design estimate indicates specific mass comparable to Ion Engine specific mass for 10,000 hour operation, while a 100,000 hour design would have a specific mass 1/3 that of the Ion Engine. Performance data are reported for ammonia and hydrazine. With ammonia, at 32 KV coil voltage, efficiency is a little more than 50 percent from 4000 to more than 8000 seconds I(sub sp). Comparison with data at 24 and 28 kV indicates that a wider I(sub sp) range could be achieved at higher coil voltages, if required for deep space missions.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Dailey, C. Lee
(TRW Systems Group Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Lovberg, Ralph H.
(California Univ. San Diego., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1993
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:191155
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 506-42-42
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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