Propulsion

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Theory

Propulsion equation

This is the equation that links the electrical power, the propulsive force and the ISP.

P = F x ISP *9,81 / 2n or P= F x Ev /2n

where:

P = power (Watts)

F = Engine force (Newtons)

ISP = Specific impulse (Seconds)

n = efficiency of engine, for an ion thruster this is between 0,2 and 0,8, for a chemical rocket, or nuclear thermal rocket, essentially 1.

9,81 conversion factor

Ev = Exhaust velocity (m/s)

Specific impulse

ISP = Ev / 9,81

ISP = Specific impulse (Seconds)

Ev = Exhaust velocity (m/s)

Fuel consumption

m = F/Ev

m = Fuel consumption (kg/s)

F = Force (Newtons)

Ev = Exhaust velocity (m/s)

Velocity (Rocket equation)

V = Ev x ln(Mo/Mf)

Ev = Exhaust velocity (m/s)

V = ship final velocity (m/s)

ln = natural logarithm

Mo = Initial mass of the ship (kg)

Mf = Final mass of the ship (kg)

The propulsive force is the force the engines produce to push the ship. This is factor of the available electrical energy, the engine efficiency and the propulsive system ISP and ejection velocity.