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MPD Thruster Performance Analytic ModelsMagnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters are capable of accelerating quasi-neutral plasmas to high exhaust velocities using Megawatts (MW) of electric power. These characteristics make such devices worthy of consideration for demanding, far-term missions such as the human exploration of Mars or beyond. Assessment of MPD thrusters at the system and mission level is often difficult due to their status as ongoing experimental research topics rather than developed thrusters. However, in order to assess MPD thrusters utility in later missions, some adequate characterization of performance, or more exactly, projected performance, and system level definition are required for use in analyses. The most recent physical models of self-field MPD thrusters have been examined, assessed, and reconfigured for use by systems and mission analysts. The physical models allow for rational projections of thruster performance based on physical parameters that can be measured in the laboratory. The models and their implications for the design of future MPD thrusters are presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gilland, James
(Ohio Aerospace Inst. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Johnston, Geoffrey
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Meeting Information
STAIF Meeting(Albuquerque, NM)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 22.755-70-07
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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