Electrode design for magnetohydrodynamic power panels on reentering space vehicles uri icon


  • Power can be extracted from the ionized fluid surrounding a re-entering space vehicle using magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) principles, provided an appropriate system of magnetic fields, thermal protection, and current collection electrodes can be designed and manufactured. Given computational fluid dynamics results for a re-entering spacecraft presented elsewhere (1), this paper examines possible electrode configurations and the implications that these will have for power generation. For practical electrode designs and realistic magnetic fields it is shown that current recirculation, which is detrimental to power generation and to thermal management, will generally arise. The necessity for fully-coupled CFD-MHD calculations is also demonstrated. Copyright 2005 by Princeton University.

author list (cited authors)

  • Steeves, C., Shneider, M., Macheret, S., Wadley, H., Miles, R., & Evans, A.

citation count

  • 1