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Plasma magnetic trap of linear multi-cusp configuration -- a component of the plasma propulsion rocket engine

V. P. Budaev1, 2, 3 - S. D. Fedorovich1 - P. Frick1, 4 - M. K. Gubkin1 - M. V. Lukashevsky1 - Yu. V. Martynenko2, 1 - A. V. Karpov2, 1 - A. V. Lazukin1 - E. A. Shestakov2, 1 - E. V. Sviridov1 - K. A. Rogosin1 - P. A. Dergachev1 - E. A. Kuznetsova1

1 National Research University "MPEI", Moscow, Russia
2 NRC Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia
3 Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
4 Institute of Continuous Media Mechanics, Perm, Russia

Results of testing a new plasma linear multi-cusp device developed at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute for studying plasma turbulence, plasma propulsion in electric fields, plasma-wall interaction, and materials (tungsten, molybdenum, steel) exposed to high-energy fluxes of hot stationary plasma are presented. These investigations will provide a basis for deeper understanding of the confinement and dynamics of plasma in such a system, the physics of the plasma-wall interaction in a multi-cusp magnetic trap, the formation of electric fields and the plasma outflow along the magnetic field, which produces the propulsion effect. Stationary helium plasma discharges of 3 hours duration with a plasma density up to 1018 m−3, an electron temperature up to 4 eV with a fraction of hot electrons up to 50 eV were generated. Plasma heat loads reached 1 MW/m2 when testing a tungsten test sample. The aim of the presented study is to evaluate the prospects for using the linear magnetic trap with a relatively low longitudinal magnetic field (less than 0.01 T) and radial cusps as the component of a stationary propulsion engine with power values up to tens of kilowatts required for interplanetary missions. Figs 8, Refs 15.

Magnetohydrodynamics 55, No. 1/2, 31-38, 2019 [PDF, 1.60 Mb]

Copyright: Institute of Physics, University of Latvia
Electronic edition ISSN 1574-0579
Printed edition ISSN 0024-998X