Numerical Modeling of Waveguide Heated Microwave Plasmas

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Venkateswaran, D. A. Schwer, C. L. Merkle

Propulsion Engineering Research Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

J. Fluids Eng 115(4), 732-741 (Dec 01, 1993) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910206 History: Received March 16, 1992; Revised June 07, 1993; Online May 23, 2008


Waveguide-heated microwave plasmas for space propulsion applications are analyzed by a two-dimensional numerical solution of the combined Navier-Stokes and Maxwell equations. Two waveguide configurations—one purely transmitting and the other with a reflecting end wall—are considered. Plasma stability and absorption characteristics are studied and contrasted with the characteristics of resonant cavity heated plasmas. In addition, preliminary estimates of the overall efficiency and the thrust and specific impulse of the propulsion system are also made. The computational results are used to explain experimental trends and to better understand the working of these devices.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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