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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 21, Iss. S6 — Nov. 4, 2013
  • pp: A1126–A1139

Laser ignition of a cryogenic thruster using a miniaturised Nd:YAG laser

Chiara Manfletti and Gerhard Kroupa  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue S6, pp. A1126-A1139 (2013)

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An experimental study has been conducted to assess the feasibility of implementing laser ignition in cryogenic reaction and control and orbital manouvering thrusters. A experimental thruster with a single-coaxial injector element combustion chamber for testing with liquid oxygen/gaseous hydrogen and liquid oxygen/gaseous methane was designed for this purpose. Mapping tests conducted using a standard table top laser revealed that the minimum incident energies required for 100% reliable laser plasma and laser ablation ignition of liquid oxygen/gaseous hydrogen are 72 mJ and 14.5 mJ respectively. In addition, the miniaturised HIPoLas® laser was mounted directly on the thruster and used as ignition system. This paper reports locations of energy deposition, levels of delivered energy and associated ignition probabilities obtained. The results indicate the feasibility of using a laser system for the direct ignition of reaction and control and orbital manouvering thrusters and highlight further investigations and developments necessary for the implementation of miniaturised laser systems for vacuum igntion of cryogenic propellants.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched

Original Manuscript: July 23, 2013
Revised Manuscript: September 20, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: October 14, 2013
Published: November 4, 2013

Virtual Issues
Laser Ignition (2013) Optics Express

Chiara Manfletti and Gerhard Kroupa, "Laser ignition of a cryogenic thruster using a miniaturised Nd:YAG laser," Opt. Express 21, A1126-A1139 (2013)

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