The effect of departure from ideality of a multiply ionized monatomic gas on the performance of rocket engines
Perkins, John Noble
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Using the Debye-Huckle approximation, the effects of Coulomb interactions on the equilibrium, frozen, and nonequilibrium flow of an ionized gas have been investigated. The gas is assumed to be monatomic, electrically neutral, and thermal equilibrium (i.e., a one temperature fluid); but the composition of the gas is arbitrary, that is, multiple ionization of any degree is allowed. The thermodynamic variables are derived starting from the appropriate expression for the Helmholtz free energy. Using Boltzmann statistics and assuming that the velocity distribution functions are given by their Maxwellian values, the rate of ionization is derived for atom-atom, atom-ion, and atom-electron collisions. The resulting expressions are then employed in solving the quasi-one-dimensional flow in a converging-diverging nozzle for the equilibrium, frozen, and nonequilibrium cases. Numerical examples, using argon as the working substance, are discussed and the results presented graphically. The results of these calculations indicate that, for single ionization, the effect of Coulomb interactions on the performance of rocket engines is negligible; but that data obtained from hypersonic arc jet wind-tunnels can be significantly influenced by the presence of the interactions.
- Doctoral Dissertations