Effect of nozzle geometry on the performance of laser ablative propulsion thruster
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The performance of “ablation mode” laser propulsion thrusters can be improved obviously by nozzle constraint. The nozzle geometry of “ablation mode” laser propulsion thrusters has been studied experimentally with CO2 lasers. Experimental results indicate that the propulsion performance of cylindrical nozzle thrusters is better than expansionary nozzle thrusters at the same lengths. The cylindrical nozzle thrusters were optimized by different laser energies. The results show that two important factors, the length-to-diameter ratio α and the thruster diameter to laser-spot diameter ratio β, affect the propulsion performance of the thruster obviously. The momentum coupling coefficient C m increases with the increase of α, while C m increases at first and then decreases with the increase of β.
KeywordsPulse Waveform Nozzle Geometry Propulsion Performance Cylindrical Nozzle Nozzle Structure
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos.: 11302221 and 51374189) and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant No.: BK20151482).
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