2011 年 59 巻 693 号 p. 266-272
The current paper describes experimental results for a pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) using dimethyl ether (DME) as a propellant. DME is an ether compound, which is neither toxic nor reactive and is stored in the liquid form in tanks because of 6 atm vapor pressure. A coaxial type DME-PPT was designed to evaluate the performance. Main discharges were successfully initiated by an igniter or spontaneous discharge induced by DME injection. The igniter was used in the case that propellant mass was so low that the spontaneous discharge was not initiated by DME feeding. Thrust measurement using a thrust target yielded a specific impulse of 1200s for an igniter type DME-PPT with 1.5μg mass shot and 5J capacitor stored energy, and 620s for spontaneous discharge type with 8.8μg and 13J.