New concept for rocket thruster exploits the mechanism behind solar flares

Science Daily  January 28, 2021
Current plasma thrusters that use electric fields to propel the particles can only produce low specific impulse. The device proposed by researchers at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory would apply magnetic fields to cause particles of plasma to shoot out of a rocket and propel the craft forward. The particles are accelerated using magnetic reconnection which also occurs in tokamaks. They showed that the new plasma thruster concept can generate exhaust with velocities of hundreds of kilometers per second, 10 times faster than those of other thrusters. According to the researchers the new concept provides the ability to change the strength of the magnetic fields which can increase or decrease the amount of thrust; the thruster produces movement by ejecting both plasma particles and plasmoids which add power to the propulsion; the magnetic fields allow the plasma inside the thruster to consist of either heavy or light atoms. This flexibility enables scientists to tailor the amount of thrust for a particular mission…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE¬†

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

Leave a Reply