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Title: Development of A Megawatt Class alpha^2+ Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster and beginning steps for accompanying control system for autonomous monitoring of operational envelope
Authors: Artis, Jackson
Advisors: Choueiri, Edgar
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Certificate Program: Robotics & Intelligent Systems Program
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: With the rising demand for deep space missions meant to either explore or collect data, it becomes increasingly necessary that newer systems and mechanisms are developed to support this growing need. In the context of long term missions, this implies the need for more powerful electric propulsion systems as they are most often relied upon for missions of this kind. Previous work on electric propulsion methods has focused on better characterizing and improving operation of already existing magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters. This is done in order to improve these thrusters as they are among the best options for long term space travel under past limitations. This thesis will do the following: 1) show how new considerations of nuclear power will allow for designing a feasible and more desirable thruster capable of utilizing large power sources for long term missions, 2) outline the process to implement a control system to allow for autonomous monitoring and correction of the designed thruster. This thesis will first motivate the work done as well as outline the underlying science driving this research after briefly explaining the necessity of electric propulsion for deep space missions. It will also address the change in topic scope as a result of limitations imposed by COVID-19. This thesis will then begin the process to developing this megawatt class thruster by first demonstrating an understanding of key Tikhonov relations. Afterwards, the Tikhonnv relations will be used to develop both operational parameters and dimensions for the megawatt class $\alpha^2+$ thruster. Finally, these Tikhonov relations will then be used to identify key parameters to be monitored for control system applications.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2020

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