Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study tests performance of electric solid propellant

04.09.2019

Electric solid propellants are being explored for use in dual-mode rocket engines because they aren't susceptible to ignite from a spark or flame and can be turned on and off electrically.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and NASA conducted experiments to understand the behavior of a high-performance electric propellant compared with a traditional propellant.


Photograph of PTFE (left) and HIPEP (right) propellant samples used in the test

Credit: University of Illinois Department of Aerospace Engineering

"Electric solid propellants have been studied as chemical rocket propellants, but what we focused on is studying these types of propellants for electric propulsion systems--so, not the fire, smoke, and combustion you see in chemical rocket engines but for in-space electric pulsed plasma thrusters," said Joshua Rovey, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in The Grainger College of Engineering at the U of I.

Rovey explained that in electric engines, there is a high-temperature plasma right next to the surface of the electric solid propellant. A small amount of that surface vaporizes and gets expelled out at high speeds. That's called ablation.

"Learning about the amount of ablation can allow us to better assess how it might perform as a propellant in an electric rocket engine, and better assess its lifetime," Rovey said.

Rovey said the application for dual-mode or multimode rocket engines is that there could be one rocket engine with one propellant that can operate in the chemical mode with high thrust, or you can operate it in an electric mode, in which a very fast electric pulse ablates the surface off of the material, and provides very high performance.

In the experiment, a high-performance electric propellant, manufactured by Digital Solid State Propulsion was compared with polytetrafluoroethylene, a traditional propellant used in ablative pulsed plasma thrusters. The space and high-altitude vacuum facility in the Aerospace Plasma Lab was used to conduct the tests. The propellant samples were measured before and after testing to determine how much of the propellant comes off of the surface with each electric pulse.

The results indicate that the electric solid propellant ablates about two times more than the traditional propellant and that the physics of the high-temperature ablation-fed arc discharge is similar for both propellants.

Rovey said, in addition to rocket engines, electric solid propellants can be used as a safer explosive in mines and pyrotechnics because it only ignites with an electrical signal.

Joshua Rovey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://aerospace.illinois.edu/news/study-tests-performance-electric-solid-propellant
http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/1.B37517

Further reports about: Aerospace Engineering Electric Propulsion high speeds

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists' design discovery doubles conductivity of indium oxide transparent coatings
18.09.2019 | University of Liverpool

nachricht Heat shields for economical aircrafts
18.09.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quality control in immune communication: Chaperones detect immature signaling molecules in the immune system

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Moderately Common Plants Show Highest Relative Losses

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

The Fluid Fingerprint of Hurricanes

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>