Analytical Model for Performance Evaluation of Ablative Plasma Pulsed Thruster

Claude M. Brito, Sergio A. Elaskar, Héctor H. Brito


A new model to calculate the ablated mass and the impulse bit of ablative plasma pulsed thrusters (APPT) is presented throughout this paper. The model is based on the balance of energies involved in APPTs way of working. A new expression is obtained for the ablated Teflon mass as a function of the main electric and geometric parameters. The introduction of an ideal arc thickness allows to derme a simplified model useful for the prediction of the performances and for
preliminary design activities. The obtained theoretical results about the impulse bit show good agreement with those arising from experimental studies. A comparison is carried out on five
APPTs; the relative error is approximately equal to 10%. Finally, this new model is used to evaluate the ablated mass of the P4S-1 thruster being currently under development in Argentina.

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