Numerical simulation of microwave-sustained supersonic plasmas for application to space propulsion Conference Paper uri icon


  • The concept of adding energy to an expanding supersonic flow using a microwave-sustained plasma is explored numerically by solving the complete system of both the Maxwell equations and the Navier Stokes equations for the case of an argon flow in a realistic thruster geometry. Results show that when an additional amount of power, equal to 45 % of the power deposited in the plenum, is added to the supersonic flow a toroidal plasma forms, but only a 3 % increase in specific impulse is achieved. It is concluded that future work relating to this concept should concentrate on finding ways to confine the plasma to the centerline.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chiravalle, V., Miles, R., & Choueiri, E

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Chiravalle, V||Miles, R||Choueiri, E

publication date

  • January 2001