The purpose of this paper is to present experimental results on the performance and operating life of a kW plasma jet rocket engine for space propulsion. The arc- jet thrustor represents an engine for potential space applications rocket, which may have a potential specific impulse in excess of seconds. Then go and clear out arc jet systems and go help Danse clear the day of the month, you can pile a bunch of ghouls in it, calibrate the rocket.

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Here is your handy-dandy cheat-sheet of rocket engines. Use this as a jumping-off point, there is no way I can keep this up-to-date. Google is your friend! There is a nice basic overview of propulsion systems here. You can spend lots of time researching spacecraft propulsion systems. rockeg

But you are in luck, I’ve got some data for you. This is from various places I found around the internet, and no, I didn’t keep track of where I got them.

Use at your own risk. If you don’t like the values in the table, do some research to see if you can discover values you like better. Also note that the designs in the list are probably optimized for high exhaust velocities at the expense of thrust. There is a chance that some can be altered to give enough thrust for lift-off at the expense of exhaust velocity.

Or you can just give up and go beg Mr. Tyco Bass for some atomic tri-tetramethylbenzacarbonethylene. Four drops should do the trick. Some engines require electricity in order to operate. These have their megawatt requirements listed under “Power Requirements”. The power plant mass can be omitted if the spacecraft relies arciet beamed power from a remote power station.

Alas, I could find no figures on the mass of the power plant. If the plant is nuclear, it probably has a mass of around 0. If it is beamed power the mass is of course zero. Efficiency is the percentage gocket the power requirements megawatts that are actually turned into thrust. The rest becomes waste heat and has to be removed with heat radiators.

Most propulsion systems fall into two categories: Economy propulsion has fantastic fuel economy, but has trouble climbing low hills. In the world of rockets, good fuel economy means a high “specific impulse” I sp and high exhaust velocity.

And muscle means a high thrust. Typical examples are chemical and solid-core nuclear thermal. These usually create the exhaust velocity by thermal means heatso they are agcjet by how hot you can get the exhaust limited by chemical energy or limited by the melting point of the rocket engine. Typical example is an ion drive. These are usually electrically powered rockets, which is why they are power-limited.

The only vaguely possible propulsion system that has both high exhaust velocity and high thrust is the Nuclear Salt Water Rocket, and not a few scientist have questions about its feasibility.

Well, actually there is also Project Orion, but that has other problems see below. With ion engines, chemical engines, and nuclear torches we’re facing a classic Newton’s Third Law problem. Somehow the exhaust needs to have sufficient momentum for the opposite reaction to give the ship a good acceleration. Chemical rockets solve the problem rockrt expelling a ton of mass at a relatively low velocity.


Ion drives expel a tiny amount of mass, so to get anywhere they get it moving FAST, but even at gigawatts of rockket they get a measly 0. Torch drives take a small-to-moderate amount of mass and use nuclear destruction to get it rockft insanely fast. Torch They’re the only ones insert disclaimer with enough power per unit of reaction mass to get 0. Even a perfect ion drive would arcjte a phenomenal read: Note that this table only contains engines for which I have data for the engine’s thrust.

There are a few for which I only have the specific impulse e. These do not appear on the table but they have entries below. If these figures result in disappointing rocket performance, in the name of science fiction you can tweak some of them and claim it was due to aarcjet technological advance.

You are allowed to tweak anything who’s name does not end in “MAX”. If there is a corresponding “MAX” entry for the engine you are tweaking, you cannot alter any of the values above the arcuet entry i. The engines are sorted by thrust power, since that depends on both exhaust velocity and thrust. So engines that high in both of those parameters will be towards the end of the list.

This is useful for designers trying to make spacecraft that can both blast-off from a planet’s surface and do efficient orbital transfers.

Arcjet rocket – Wikipedia

As Philip Eklund noted in his game High Frontierthe engines fall into three rough categories: If one was trying to design a more reasonable strictly orbit-to-orbit spacecraft one would want the engine list sorted by exhaust velocity.

And surface-to-orbit designers would want the list sorted by thrust. Sorry, you’ll have to do that yourself. These are various rocket engines trying to harness the awesome might of antimatter. While the fuel is about as potent as you can get, trying to actually use the stuff has many problems. Generally your spacecraft has metric tons of propellant, and a few micrograms antimatter fuel. The exceptions are the antimatter beam-core and positron ablative engines. To those rocket engineers inured to the inevitable rise in vehicle mass ratio with increasing mission difficulty, antimatter rockets provide relief.

The mass ratio of an antimatter rocket for any mission is always less than 4. In an antimatter rocket, the source of the propulsion energy is separate from the reaction fluid. Thus, the rocket’s total initial mass consists of the vehicle’s empty mass, the reaction fluid’s mass, and the energy source’s mass, half of which is the mass of the antimatter. The kinetic energy K.

Arcjet rocket

We set roccket derivative of Eq. The reaction mass m r is 3. If the antimatter engine has low efficiency, we will need more antimatter to heat the reaction mass to the best exhaust velocity. The amount of reaction mass needed remains constant.

If we can develop antimatter engines that can handle jets with the tocket high exhaust velocities Eq. We can obtain the amount of antimatter needed for a specific mission by substituting Eq.

The antimatter needed is just half of this mass.

The amount of antimatter calculated from Eq. Thus, no matter what the mission, the vehicle uses 3. Depending on the relative cost of antimatter and reaction mass after they have been boosted into space, missions trying to lower costs may use more antimatter than that given by Eq.


If so, they would need less reaction mass to reach the same mission velocity. Such cost-optimized vehicles could have mass ratios closer to 2 than 4. The low mass ratio of antimatter rockets rockef missions which are impossible using any other propulsion technique. For example, a reusable antimatter-powered vehicle using a single-stage-to-orbit has rocet designed [Pecchioli, ] with a dry mass of This vehicle can put 2.

Moving 5 tons of payload from low-Earth orbit to low Martian orbit with an ton vehicle mass ratio 3. Antimatter rockets are a form of nuclear rocket.

Although they do not emit many neutrons, they do emit large numbers of gamma rays and so require precautions concerning proper shielding and stand-off distance. From a practical standpoint, the proton-antiproton annihilation reaction produces two things: Electron-positron annihilation just produces propulsion-worthless gamma rays, so nobody uses it for rockets.

Except for the stranger antimatter engine designs. To use the energy for propulsion, you have to either somehow direct the gamma rays and pions to shoot out the exhaust nozzle to produce thrust, or you have to used them to tocket up a propellant and direct the hot propellant out the exhaust nozzle.

To keep the adcjet and the computers alive you have to shield them from both gamma rays and pions. As far as the crew is concerned both qrcjet products come under the heading of “deadly radiation. Since pions arcjwt particles unlike gamma rays enough shielding will stop them all. Given an absorbing propellant or radiation shield of a specific density you can figure the thickness that will stop all the pions.

This is the pion’s “range” through that material. In table the columns under the yellow bar show how many centimeters the “range” of the given stopping material is required to absorb MeV of pion energy. The two sets of orange bars is because while the range is relatively constant for all high energies, the range becomes dramatically less at the point where the pion energy drops below MeV the “last MeV”.

But you only need 27 centimeters of water to absorb MeV from a 75 MeV pion.

Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket

Since hydrogen, helium, and nitrogen have regrettably low densities the reaction chamber will have to operate at high pressure to get the density up to useful levels. The Space Shuttle engines operated at a pressure of atmospheres, is a bit excessive. So of zrcjet gases nitrogen might be preferrable, even though you can get better specific impulse out of propellants with lower molecular weight. Using more calculations that were not explained figure was produced.

The curve is the relative intensity of a charged pion at a given kinetic energy in MeV. The MeV pions are the most intense there are more of themthe average energy is MeV. Mean Focket is the lifespan not half-life of a pion at that energy arcejt nanoseconds. The range of a pion at that energy can be measured on the RANGE scales below, traveling through vacuum, hydrogen H 2 propellant at atm, nitrogen N 2 propellant at atm, and tungsten radiation shielding.