Asymmetric Shock Wave Generation in a Microwave Rocket Using a Magnetic Field

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A plasma pattern is reproduced by coupling simulations between a particle-in- cell with Monte Carlo collisions model and a finite-difference time-domain simulation for an electromagnetic wave propagation when an external magnetic field is applied to the breakdown volume inside a microwave-rocket nozzle. The propagation speed and energy-absorption rate of the plasma are estimated based on the breakdown simulation, and these are utilized to reproduce shock wave propagation, which provides impulsive thrust for the microwave rocket. The shock wave propagation is numerically reproduced by solving the compressible Euler equation with an energy source of the microwave heating. The shock wave is asymmetrically generated inside the nozzle when the electron cyclotron resonance region has a lateral offset, which generates lateral and angular impulses for postural control of the vehicle. It is possible to develop an integrated device to maintain beaming ight of the microwave rocket, achieving both axial thrust improvement and postural control, by controlling the spatial distribution of the external magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012020
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 7
Event28th Annual IUPAP Conference on Computational Physics, CCP 2016 - Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 2016 Jul 102016 Jul 14


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