Initial thermal and magnetic characterization of a low-power laboratory model TAL

J. Walter, J. Dickens

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A low-power TAL was constructed and tested at Texas Tech University. Initial operational characterization of the thruster was performed at power levels between 100 W and 1 kW. The laboratory model's structure is similar to conventional designs. To aid in the design, detailed three-dimensional magnetic field simulations were made using finite element analysis software. The simulations included both external and internal magnetic field distributions at several magnetic coil currents. To verify the simulation results, bench-top measurements of the magnetic field at several points were made using a commercial gauss-meter probe. Thermocouples imbedded in the structure were used to monitor temperature rise due to resistive heating in the magnet coils alone, and temperatures during thruster operation. Temperature variations were recorded as operational parameters were varied. A few experiments were attempted to lower operating temperatures. The application of the data collected to future low-power TAL designs is explored.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2001
Event37th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2001 - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Jul 8 2001Jul 11 2001


Conference37th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT


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