Magnetic flux compression experiments using plasma armatures /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Turner, M. W., author.
Imprint:MSFC, Alabama : National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Marshall Space Flight Center, March 2003.
Description:1 online resource (ix, 29 pages) : illustrations.
Series:NASA/TP ; 2003-212341
NASA technical paper ; 2003-212341.
Subject:Plasma compression.
Magnetic flux.
Reynolds number.
Plasma jets.
Plasma dynamics.
Magnetic flux.
Plasma dynamics.
Plasma jets.
Reynolds number.
Format: E-Resource U.S. Federal Government Document Book
URL for this record:
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Hawk, C. W., author.
Litchford, R. J., author.
George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, issuing body.
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, sponsoring body.
Notes:Title from title screen (viewed Sept. 4, 2015).
"March 2003."
Includes bibliographical references (page 13).
Sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration M-1069
Summary:Magnetic flux compression reaction chambers offer considerable promise for controlling the plasma flow associated with various micronuclear/chemical pulse propulsion and power schemes, primarily because they avoid thermalization with wall structures and permit multicycle operation modes. The major physical effects of concern are the diffusion of magnetic flux into the rapidly expanding plasma cloud and the development of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities at the plasma surface, both of which can severely degrade reactor efficiency and lead to plasma-wall impact.

A physical parameter of critical importance to these underlying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) processes is the magnetic Reynolds number (Rm), the value of which depends upon the product of plasma electrical conductivity and velocity. Efficient flux compression requires Rm>>1, and a thorough understanding of MHD phenomena at high magnetic Reynolds numbers is essential to the reliable design and operation of practical reactors. As a means of improving this understanding, a simplified laboratory experiment has been constructed in which the plasma jet ejected from an ablative pulse plasma gun is used to investigate plasma armature interaction with magnetic fields.

As a prelude to intensive study, exploratory experiments were carried out to quantify the magnetic Reynolds number characteristics of the plasma jet source. Jet velocity was deduced from time-of-flight measurements using optical probes, and electrical conductivity was measured using an inductive probing technique. Using air at 27-inHg vacuum, measured velocities approached 4.5 km/s and measured conductivities were in the range of 30 to 40 kS/m.

Other form:Print version: Turner, M. W. Magnetic flux compression experiments using plasma armatures
GPO item no.:0830-H-15 (online) classification:NAS 1.60:2003-212341