Control and propulsion of an atmospheric pressure plasma ring

Leon M. Shpanin, G. R. Jones, J. W. Spencer, B. E. Djakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


A new approach for the electromagnetic control and propulsion of a current carrying electric arc plasma ring is described. The essence of the approach is to form and manipulate the arc plasma outside rather than inside an electromagnetic field (B-field) producing coil so that pulsed plasma thrusts can be produced in a choice of different directions. The interaction of the electric arc, formed in atmospheric pressure air, with such B-field has been investigated. It has been shown that a stable azimuthal plasma ring can rapidly be produced by the simple process of separating two annular contacts. Pulsed plasma propulsion is obtained when the arc plasma, and B-field sustaining current is automatically reduced to zero, whereby the constraining electromagnetic forces are removed and, as a consequence, the resulting plasma ring radially expands outwards. Several different measurement techniques have been deployed for investigating the behavior of the plasma ring. These include electrical probing, B-field probing, and high-speed plus video photography. Experimental results are shown to be in good agreement with theoretical estimates based upon a Sedov's self-similar model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2795-2800
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

The full text is not available on the repository.


Dive into the research topics of 'Control and propulsion of an atmospheric pressure plasma ring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this