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Flow Characteristics in the Exhaust of a Pulsed Megawatt Gas Fed Arc

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2 Author(s)
Michels, C.J. ; National Aeronautics and Space Administration Lewis Research Center Cleveland, Ohio 44135 ; York, T.M.

The transient flow generated by a pulsed, megawatt-level, gas-fed arc with an applied magnetic nozzle has been examined with a new design piezoelectric pressure transducer. Sensor thermal conduction and accelerations have been examined and eliminated in the 500¿sec period of plasma flow. Existence of a large magnitude cold gas pressure front of 20¿sec duration has been reconfirmed and its relationship to the following plasma flow of about 200¿sec duration has been examined for the first time. At a point 30 cm from the arc source, initially near vacuum conditions (typically with an arc current of 11.2 kA and 1 tesla applied magnetic field), a pressure pulse of unionized gas with a magnitude of 104 N/m2 is followed by plasma flows with nearly constant impact pressure of 103 N/m2. Pressure and number density in this plasma region are seen to decrease with applied magnetic field strength. With electron density derived from Thomson scattering measurements (1020 m-3) plasma flow velocities on the order of 5 × 104 m/sec are calculated.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )