Volume 4 (2009) Pages 002
Two types of solid hydrogen pellet injection systems have been developed, and plasma refueling experiments have been performed using these pellet injectors. One is an in-situ pipe-gun type pellet injector, which has the simplest design of all pellet injectors. This in-situ pipe-gun injector has 10 injection barrels, each of which can independently inject cylindrical solid hydrogen pellets (3.4 and 3.8 mm in diameter and length, respectively) at velocities up to 1,200 m/s. The other is a repetitive pellet injector with a screw extruder, which can form a 3.0 mmφ solid hydrogen rod continuously at extrusion rates up to 55 mm/s. This extruder allows consecutive pellet injection up to 11 Hz without time limit. Both of these pellet injectors employ compact cryo-coolers to solidify hydrogen; therefore, they can be operated using only electrical input instead of a complicated liquid helium supply system. In particular, using a combination of the repetitive pellet injector with cryo-coolers provides a steady-state capability with minimum maintenance.