, 67:261

Hypergravity effects on glide arc plasma

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Abstract

The behaviour of a special type of electric discharge – the gliding arc plasma – has been investigated in hypergravity (1g–18g) using the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) at ESA/ESTEC. The discharge voltage and current together with the videosignal from a fast camera have been recorded during the experiment. The gliding of the arc is governed by hot gas buoyancy and by consequence, gravity. Increasing the centrifugal acceleration makes the glide arc movement substantially faster. Whereas at 1g the discharge was stationary, at 6g it glided with 7 Hz frequency and at 18g the gliding frequency was 11 Hz. We describe a simple model for the glide arc movement assuming low gas flow velocities, which is compared to our experimental results.