Laser propulsion is the production of high specific impulse rocket thrust using a high-energy laser as a remote power source. Specific impulses in excess of 1000 sec are achievable because propellant temperatures are very high and low molecular weight gases can be used. This paper highlights the research status of several different methods for converting the laser energy into periments using laser-sustained plasmas as the conversion mechanism. The results of a two-dimensional model of laser-sustained plasmas are also reported, indicating good agreement with the experiments, and predicting that conversion efficiencies in excess of 75 percent should be achievable.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - 1986|
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