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Supersonic laser propulsion

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Abstract

To produce supersonic laser propulsion, a new technique based on the interaction of a laser-ablated jet with supersonic gas flow in a nozzle is proposed. It is shown that such parameters of the jet, such as gas-plasma pressure and temperature in the ablation region as well as the mass consumption rate of the ablated solid propellant, are characteristic in this respect. The results of numerical simulations of the supersonic laser propulsion are presented for two types of nozzle configuration. The feasibility to achieve the momentum coupling coefficient of Cm103N/W is shown.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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