Abstract

In order to investigate the mechanisms of both the air-breathing and the ablation modes of laser propulsion under laboratory conditions, a multi-use laser impulse pendulum (MULIP) is developed. The measurable impulse range is from 1.0*10^(-4) to 3.8*10^(-3) N.s. The experimental calibration data agree well with the theoretical calculated data. With MULIP, the ablation mode has been performed, in which a high power pulsed Nd:glass laser (?= 1.06 ?m, ?= 20 ns) and a gray PVC film sample are used. The experimental results show that the maximum momentum coupling coefficient C_(m) is 7.73*10^(-5) N/W, and the maximum specific impulse I_(sp) is 208.6 s.

© 2005 Chinese Optics Letters

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