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Proceedings Paper

Ablative laser propulsion: determination of specific impulse from plasma imaging
Author(s): Jun Lin; M. Shane Thompson; Andrew V. Pakhomov
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Paper Abstract

This work summarizes the combination of experimental and digital image processing technique developed for determination of plasma expansion velocity angular profiles. Such profiles were used further for assessment of specific impulses for ablative laser propulsion. The technique uses time-resolved intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) camera with 18 ns minimum time delay, 100 μm spatial resolution, and 5 ns gating speed. The plasma was formed in vacuum (~ 3x10-3 Torr) by focusing output pulses of a laser system (100-ps pulsewidth at 532 nm wavelength and ~35 mJ energy) on surfaces of C (graphite), Al, Si, Fe, Cu, Zn, Sn, and Pb targets. Plasma expansion velocity profiles were derived from plume edge contours. Specific impulse (Isp) was then deduced from the profiles. New Isp data appeared in excellent agreement with specific impulses derived from force measurements, conducted earlier. Observed angular profiles of plasma edge velocity and integral intensity are reported and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5448, High-Power Laser Ablation V, (20 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.547120
Show Author Affiliations
Jun Lin, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
M. Shane Thompson, Information Systems Labs., Inc. (United States)
Andrew V. Pakhomov, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5448:
High-Power Laser Ablation V
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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