Optimum performance of electron beam driven magnetohydrodynamic generators for scramjet inlet control Conference Paper uri icon


  • The paper is devoted to analysis and optimization of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) control of forebody flow compression and shock incidence in scramjet-powered vehicles that would fly at Mach 5-8. The short (about 30 cm long) MHD region is created by placing a magnetic coil with B field strength of several Tesla inside the forebody and ionizing the cold air flow by high-energy electron beams propagating along the magnetic field lines. The Faraday current flowing in the spanwise direction is presumed to be collected with electrodes that are mounted on sidewalls. The purpose of the MHD device is to restore shock-on-lip condition at Mach 8 for a vehicle geometry designed for Mach 5, while operating in self-powered mode (the MHD generated electricity is enough to power the ionizing beams). Location and spatial dimensions of the MHD region, beam-generated ionization profiles, magnetic field strength, and the magnet size are varied in order to maximize performance and reduce the magnet size. Two-dimensional inviscid steadystate flow equations are solved jointly with equations describing electron beam-induced ionization profiles, plasma kinetics, vibrational relaxation, and MHD effects. The model predicts an interesting phenomenon of electric current reversal due to the non-uniformity of velocity, magnetic field, and conductivity in the MHD region. Vibrational nonequilibrium effects are found to be substantial. Overall, the modeling shows that a considerable reduction in magnet size is possible with the optimum choice of parameters. 2003 by the authors. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Macheret, S. O., Shneider, M. N., & Miles, R. B.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Macheret, Sergey O||Shneider, Mikhail N||Miles, Richard B

publication date

  • September 2007