| Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma
Propulsion (M2P2) is an advanced
plasma propulsion system that will enable spacecraft to attain
unprecedented speeds, with minimal energy and mass requirements. It
will create a large scale
magnetic bubble around the spacecraft to ride the solar winds, and
the spacecraft to unprecedented speeds.
| A large chamber is installed at the University of Washington for continued
prototype testing. The chamber easily allows the inflation to be optimized
without strong wall interactions.
|Video clip of a recent inflation experiment|
|M2P2 has now been able to
demonstrate that it can successfully deflect a 1 Newton plasma using
less than 1 kW of power. Click the image to see a video clip of this
Artist's impression of a mini-magnetosphere deployed around a spacecraft. Plasma or ionized gas is trapped on the magnetic field lines generated onboard, and this plasma inflates the magnetic field much like hot air inflates a balloon. A 7 MB animation of the inflation can be seen through this link. The mini-magnetosphere is then blown by the plasma wind from the Sun called the solar wind which has a speed between ~350 to 800 km/s.
|Tsest of the prototype developed at the Univ. of Washington were performed at the large vacuum chamber at Test Area 300 at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. These tests allow the expansion over some 16 ft, or nearly 50 times the magnet radius to be studied.|
What's behind the M2P2