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A numerical model of radiation has been employed by using a Monte Carlo method and statistical physics to simulate the process of a capillary plasma source for an electrothermal-chemical launcher. The effect of plasma on propellants with different physical parameters is discussed. The plasma-propellant interaction when the radiation model is combined with a thermal model is also discussed. Results show that radiant energy only causes a small field around the plasma injector in the propellant bed. The responses of energy flux and propellant particles to radiation are both on the order of picoseconds. The strong instantaneous radiation is not only the dominant effect of energy transport in hot plasma but is also responsible for the transmission of energy to the propellant particles leading to ignition. This energy skin effect on the propellant-particle surface appears to be the main cause of plasma ignition.
Date of Publication: May 2013