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ICRF Heating and Plasma Acceleration with an Open Magnetic Field for the Advanced Space Thruster

A. Ando, M. Inutake, K. Hattori, M. Shibata, Y. Kasashima (18R06)

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 51 / Number 2T / February 2007 / Pages 72-74

Technical Paper / Open Magnetic Systems for Plasma Confinement /

The ion cyclotron resonance heating and acceleration in a magnetic nozzle are performed in a fast-flowing plasma in the HITOP linear device in order to investigate an advanced space propulsion system. When radio-frequency (RF) waves are excited by a helically-wound antenna, plasma thermal energy W[perpendicular] and ion temperature drastically increase during the RF pulse. Thermal energy of the heated ion is converted its flow energy when the ions pass through a diverging magnetic nozzle. The plasma thermal energy changes so as to keep the magnetic moment constant. The exhaust plasma flow energy can be controlled by changing an input RF power only.

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