Thrust Measurements in Ballistic Pendulum Ablative Laser Propulsion Experiments

Brazolin, H.; Rodrigues, N. A. S.; Minucci, M. A. S.
April 2008
AIP Conference Proceedings;4/28/2008, Vol. 997 Issue 1, p143
Conference Proceeding
Conference Paper
This paper describes a setup for thrust measurement in ablative laser propulsion experiments, based on a simple ballistic pendulum associated to an imaging system, which is being assembled at IEAv. A light aluminium pendulum holding samples is placed inside a 100 liters vacuum chamber with two optical windows: the first (in ZnSe) for the laser beam and the second (in fused quartz) for the pendulum visualization. A TEA-CO2 laser beam is focused to the samples providing ablation and transferring linear moment to the pendulum as a whole. A CCD video camera captures the oscillatory movement of the pendulum and the its trajectory is obtained by image processing. By fitting the trajectory of the pendulum to a dumped sinusoidal curve is possible to obtain the amplitude of the movement which is directly related to the momentum transfered to the sample.


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