Performance analysis of an integrated multi-mode chemical monopropellant inductive plasma thruster

Steven P. Berg, Joshua L. Rovey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A novel multi-mode spacecraft propulsion concept is presented. The concept combines chemical monopropellant and electric pulsed inductive thruster technology to include shared propellant and shared conical nozzle. Geometry calculations show that existing conical pulsed inductive thruster experiments are typical of large (1000-4000 N) chemical monopropellant thruster nozzles. Performance and propulsion system mass required to accomplish a 1500 m/s delta-V with a 500 kg payload was calculated for geometries including 20-55 degree divergence angles. Results show that combining nozzle geometry is not beneficial in terms of propulsion system mass for small nozzle divergence angles, however using a nozzle with a 55 degree divergence angle results in a 1-2% reduction in propulsion system mass compared to an equivalent thrust system utilizing a separate chemical bell nozzle and flat coil PIT device despite having 19% lower chemical specific impulse and 18% lower electric thrust efficiency. Results suggest that using even larger divergence angles could yield even more benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781624102226
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, JPC 2013 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Jul 14 2013Jul 17 2013

Publication series

Name49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
Volume1 PartF


Conference49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, JPC 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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