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posted by mrpg on Tuesday August 22 2017, @02:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the h-times-π-r² dept.

Researchers have improved the design of Cylindrical shaped Hall thrusters (CHTs), a type of ion drive used in spacecraft:

Researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China have created a new inlet design for Cylindrical shaped Hall thrusters (CHTs) that may significantly increase the thrust and allows spaceships to travel greater distances.

[...] The researchers injected the propellant into the cylindrical chamber of the thruster by a number of nozzles that usually point straight in, toward the center of the cylinder. The angle of the inlet nozzles changed slightly, sending the propellant into a rapid circular motion and creating a vortex in the channel.

They then simulated the motion of the plasma in the channel for both nozzle angles using modeling and analysis software called COMSOL that uses a finite element approach to modeling molecular flow.

This resulted in a gas density near the periphery of the channel is higher when the nozzles are tilted and the thruster is run in vortex mode.

According to the study, the vortex inlet increases the propellant utilization of the thruster by 3.12 percent to 8.81 percent, thrust by 1.1 percent to 53.5 percent, specific impulse by 1.1 percent to 53.5 percent, thrust-to-power ratio by 10 percent to 63 percent and anode efficiency by 1.6 percent to 7.3 percent, greatly improving the thruster performance.

More likely to be deployed than EmDrive.

Effect of vortex inlet mode on low-power cylindrical Hall thruster (open, DOI: 10.1063/1.4986007) (DX)


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @03:29AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @03:29AM (#557370)

    Cylindrical Shaped Hall Thruster. "Fucking machine" is easier to type. Why does each industry need its own lingo?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @05:41AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @05:41AM (#557400)

    Whatever happened to EM-Drive tests? I thought China was going to test it in space around January. Must have been a bust. Bummer, no Orion women visits.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday August 22 2017, @07:09AM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday August 22 2017, @07:09AM (#557420) Homepage
      Projects never die when there's still the chance of (a) more papers (such as the above, it's all theoretical, not real-world); and (b) more funding (because taxpayers have limitless money, and don't care about the infrastructure necessary for a modern society).
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday August 22 2017, @04:20PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 22 2017, @04:20PM (#557552)

      What makes you so sure the Chinese would share the information if it proved successful? The international space race is heating up again, and the EM Drive would give a massive advantage to whoever first perfected it. If by some miracle of a benevolent universe they conclusively proved that it worked, the government might declare it a state secret until such time as they had perfected it to the point that they were ready to colonize Mars, Europa, or wherever.

      Not that such a plan would necessarily work, even if the EM drive did, but why share an advantage with your opponent?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @12:20PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @12:20PM (#557468)

    whoever is selling the propellant isn't going to like this ... getting to sell less propellant, that is.
    hopefully this plasma-vortex won't lead to a spinning engine ...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @05:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22 2017, @05:13PM (#557583)

      Somehow I doubt they'll lose sleep over this, ion drives aren't exactly a massive market. Whatever propellant they use likely has other market values that are much more significant.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 22 2017, @02:15PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 22 2017, @02:15PM (#557512) Homepage Journal

    "simulated the motion of the plasma in the channel for both nozzle angles using modeling and analysis software"

    Models are all well and good - but Grandma said that the proof is in the pudding. Build one, and show us what it can do. That model flying around in your computer simulator isn't doing anyone any good, except paper writing people.

    --
    Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
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