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Overview of Laser Ablation Micropropulsion Research Activities at DLR Stuttgart

Eckel, Hans-Albert and Scharring, Stefan and Karg, Stephanie and Illg, Christian and Peter, Johannes M.F. (2014) Overview of Laser Ablation Micropropulsion Research Activities at DLR Stuttgart. In: Conference Proceedings - Teilnehmer-CD. HPLA/BEP 2014, 21.-25. Apr. 2014, Santa Fe, NM, USA.

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Microthrust engines (μN-mN) with high specific impulse and long lifetime that allow for precision attitude and orbit control are a prerequisite for planned and future missions for geodetic purposes or astronomic science. The potential of laser-ablative microthrusters for meeting these demands is being investigated at the Institute of Technical Physics. The concept is based on removal of a thin layer of material by focusing short laser pulses on a metal surface creating plasma or vapor. The recoil of the ablated material leads to momentum transfer to the target, which results in sub-μN to mN thrust levels for high repetition rate laser sources. Additionally, by implementing electro-optic beam steering for layer-by-layer ablation of material, moving parts that can be a significant disturbing factor for precise thrusters could be avoided in this concept. To evaluate and optimize the thruster with regards to precise thrust control, thruster lifetime and contamination issues experimental facilities comprising plasma and surface diagnostics and a thrust balance have been implemented. In addition to the experimental work, analytical calculations are undertaken to assess the future laser thruster characteristics. Furthermore, the variation of laser parameters and target material is investigated using a hydrodynamic simulation tool for laser ablation, which is to be supplemented by molecular dynamics simulations as well as by Direct Simulation Monte Carlo-Particle in Cell (DSMC-PIC) calculations in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/89091/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Overview of Laser Ablation Micropropulsion Research Activities at DLR Stuttgart
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Eckel, Hans-AlbertHans-Albert.Eckel (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Scharring, Stefanstefan.scharring (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Karg, Stephaniestephanie.karg (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:22 April 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Conference Proceedings - Teilnehmer-CD
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Laser ablation of solids, Laser ablation microthruster, Plasma diagnostic techniques, Electro-optical components, Hydrodynamic simulations, Direct Simulation Monte Carlo, Particle-in-cell method
Event Title:HPLA/BEP 2014
Event Location:Santa Fe, NM, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:21.-25. Apr. 2014
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Aircraft Research (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AR - Aircraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Laser Research and Technology (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics > Studies and Concepts
Deposited By: Scharring, Stefan
Deposited On:08 Aug 2014 06:55
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:46

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