[Table of Contents]

Plasma and Fusion Research

Volume 3, S1018 (2008)

Regular Articles

Generation of Supersonic and Super-Alfvénic Flow Using ICRF Heating and a Magnetic Nozzle
Akira ANDO, Tatsuya HAGIWARA, Toshihiro KOMAGOME, Kunihiko HATTORI1) and Masaaki INUTAKE2)
Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
Nippon Institute of Technology, Saitama 345-8501 Japan
Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
(Received 28 November 2007 / Accepted 6 February 2008 / Published 1 August 2008)


Fast-flowing plasmas in supersonic and super-Alfvénic regime are generated in combined experiments of ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH) and acceleration in a magnetic nozzle. During radio-frequency (RF) wave excitation in a fast-flowing plasma produced by a magnet-plasma-dynamic arcjet (MPDA), strong ion cyclotron heating is clearly observed. Thermal energy in the heated plasma is converted into flow energy in a diverging magnetic nozzle, where the magnetic moment μ is nearly kept constant. Plasma flow energy can be controlled by changing the input RF power and/or modifying the magnetic nozzle configuration. In a strongly diverging magnetic nozzle, an Alfvén Mach number as well as ion acoustic Mach number are more than unity, that is, supersonic and super-Alfvénic plasma flow is realized.


supersonic plasma flow, super-Alfvénic plasma flow, ion cyclotron heating, magnetic nozzle, advanced plasma thruster

DOI: 10.1585/pfr.3.S1018


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This paper may be cited as follows:

Akira ANDO, Tatsuya HAGIWARA, Toshihiro KOMAGOME, Kunihiko HATTORI and Masaaki INUTAKE, Plasma Fusion Res. 3, S1018 (2008).