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Proceedings Paper

BGK method to determine thruster plume backscatter
Author(s): Michael C. Fong; Aleck L. Lee
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Paper Abstract

An approximate molecular scatter model based on the Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (BGK) theory for a binary system was developed to predict the plume return flux and molecular density distribution due to spacecraft thruster firing during orbital flight. This binary model considers intermolecular collisions involving a plume species and an ambient species and defines the onset of the BGK molecular flow to be on a plume translational breakdown surface based on density decay considerations (Bird''s criterion). With the assumption of average local collision frequency quantities the BGK quasi-linear differential equation can be decoupled into a selfscatter (collision between plume molecules) equation and an ambient scatter (collisions between plume and ambient molecules) equation both amenable to relatively straightforward numerical integration schemes. A sample molecular scatter solution for a small hydrazine monopropellant thruster (with 5-lb thrust) is included in this analysis. 1.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1990
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1329, Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control II, (1 November 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.22613
Show Author Affiliations
Michael C. Fong, Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., Inc. (United States)
Aleck L. Lee, Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1329:
Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control II
A. Peter M. Glassford, Editor(s)

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