Design and Development of a Supersonic Nitrogen Gas Flow System for Beamed Microwave Plasma Experiments
- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- The purpose of this experiment is to improve upon a preexisting beamed microwave propulsion system by bringing the exit flow to supersonic speeds. This research builds upon an experiment previously designed at Penn State. The working fluid of this experiment, nitrogen, must be transported from tanks pressurized to 6,000 psig to the chamber of an electric propulsion system. Improving the mass flow rate of the system ensures supersonic flow to the exit of the nozzle and furthers the goal of optimizing the systems thrust and specific impulse. Increasing the mass flow rate will also eliminate undesirable characteristics that previously manifested in the flow. Both experimental and theoretical calculations revealed the presence of shock waves in the prior experiment, which have substantially impaired the propulsion systems performance. The improved experimental design increases the effective feed system flow area that follows the nitrogen tank orifice. Further improvements include the addition of a high mass flow rate pressure regulator, an additional two nitrogen tanks, and various safety measures. The results of the experiment demonstrated that the new experimental design eliminated the presence of shocks in the nozzle. Though a chamber pressure of over 900 psig has already been achieved, further experiments are being conducted to test the viability of increasing the chamber pressure to 2,000 psig.
- Dissertation Note:
- B.S. Pennsylvania State University 2019.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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