Magnetically Guided Laser Ablation for High Specific Impulse Thrusters Conference Paper uri icon


  • Laser ablation has long been recognized as a method of obtaining very high temperature plasmas which can form a basis for ultra high specific impulse thrust devices. In the current work, research efforts were directed to explore the use of magnetic field with a strength of up to 4.5 Tesla to direct a laser (1064 nm YAG, 200-450 mJ/pulse) generated plasma in order to create a virtual nozzle and increase specific impulse. The work demonstrated that the magnetic field normal to the target surface serves to contain high pressure, high temperature plasma plume ejected from the surface. The plasma accelerates along the magnetic filed lines. A pendulum was used to measure the thrust with and without magnetic field. It has been shown that for the conditions used in this experiment, magnetic field increased the thrust by a factor of 2. Copyright 2005 by Princeton University.

name of conference

  • 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

published proceedings

  • 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

author list (cited authors)

  • Zaidi, S., Smith, T., Murray, R., Qian, L., Miles, R., & Kremeyer, K.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005 11:11 AM