Numerical study of discharge and thrust generation in a microwave rocket

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


A microwave-driven in-tube accelerator (MITA) concept was proposed in this paper to improve thrust performance of a microwave rocket driven by an intense electromagnetic wave beam. A beam focusing process, plasma propagation process, and thrust performance process were numerically reproduced by modeling the electromagnetic wave propagation, plasma reaction and transport, and shock wave propagation. A beam diffraction effect was removed and a clear beam focusing at the rear side of the vehicle was achieved when the beam having a higher frequency was selected. An energy-absorption rate by the plasma increased with an increase in the incident beam frequency because a cut-off density for wave reflection increased. The thruster obtained a positive thrust because of an interaction between the thruster and shock wave induced by the beam focusing. A momentum coupling coefficient in the MITA was evaluated as 30 N/MW by the shock wave simulation, which is comparable level as the laser-driven in-tube accelerator.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105784
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 2019 Jan 72019 Jan 11

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical study of discharge and thrust generation in a microwave rocket'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this