A Plasma Source for Generation and Inflation of Large Scale Magnetospheres

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Msnw LLC
851 154th Ave NE
Redmond, WA -
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Magnetospheric plasma propulsion is a novel propulsion scheme that makes use of the ambient energy of the solar wind by coupling to the solar wind through a large-scale ( 10 km) magnetic bubble or mini-magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is produced by the injection of plasma on to the magnetic field of a small ( 1, so that field expansion is immediate. The RMF assures inflation by driving currents throughout the magnetosphere, and is virtually propellantless as it sweeps in the intercepted solar wind to build and sustain the magnetosphere. Under phase I, a prototype source would be built and tested.