Performance Analysis of an Integrated Multi-Mode Chemical Monopropellant Inductive Plasma Thruster


A novel multi-mode spacecraft propulsion concept is presented. The concept combines chemical monopropellant and electric pulsed inductive thruster technology to include shared propellant and shared conical nozzle. Geometry calculations show that existing conical pulsed inductive thruster experiments are typical of large (1000-4000 N) chemical monopropellant thruster nozzles. Performance and propulsion system mass required to accomplish a 1500 m/s delta-V with a 500 kg payload was calculated for geometries including 20-55 degree divergence angles. Results show that combining nozzle geometry is not beneficial in terms of propulsion system mass for small nozzle divergence angles, however using a nozzle with a 55 degree divergence angle results in a 1-2% reduction in propulsion system mass compared to an equivalent thrust system utilizing a separate chemical bell nozzle and flat coil PIT device despite having 19% lower chemical specific impulse and 18% lower electric thrust efficiency. Results suggest that using even larger divergence angles could yield even more benefit.

Meeting Name

49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference (2013: Jul. 14-17, San Jose, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2013 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

17 Jul 2013