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Experimental Simulation of Magnetoplasma Sail for Thrust Measurement

K. Ueno, Y. Oshio, I. Funaki, H. Yamakawa

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 63 / Number 1T / May 2013 / Pages 392-394

Magnetoplasma Sail (MPS) is one of the sail propulsion system using the solar wind and suitable for deep space exploration. MPS uses an artificial magnetic field for capturing the solar wind, which is generated by a combination of a coil and a plasma injection. In order to measure thrust of a miniature MPS directory, a parallelogram-pendulum-type thrust stand was developed and installed on MPS ground simulator. In comparison with 0.6 N of Magnetic Sail thrust for 90 mm-magnetosphere, when the magnetospheric size for 115 mm was produced, 4.0 N thrust of the miniature MPS was obtained. The thrust value may include thrust originated with MPD arcjets used for magnetospheric inflation. Our next step of thrust measurement is evaluation of thrust increment for magnetospheric inflation.

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