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Ignitor for liquid fuel rocket engines

Imported: 23 Feb '17 | Published: 22 Oct '02

Robert W. Marable

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An ignitor that energizes a hydrogen fuel into a high temperature plasma which is then injected into a mixture of fuel and oxidizer within a combustion chamber.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a rocket engine of the prior art.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the faceplate of the rocket engine of the prior art taken along line

2

2 of FIG.

1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of one of the injector elements.

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the ignitor of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an end view of an alternate design using multiple second electrodes taken along line

5

5 of FIG.

4.

Claims

1. An ignitor for liquid fueled engines comprising:

2. The ignitor of claim 1 wherein said means for selectively producing an electrical voltage between said first and second electrodes comprises a first circuit, said first circuit comprising a switchable power supply that feeds electrical voltage through said first and second electrodes.

3. The ignitor of claim 2 wherein said electrical voltage is at least 15,000 volts.

4. The ignitor of claim 3 wherein said second electrode encircles said first electrode.

5. The ignitor of claim 4 further comprising an ignitor body, and said first and second electrodes are fixedly secured to said ignitor body.

6. The ignitor of claim 5 wherein said means for supplying a gaseous fuel into said gap and purging said gap of oxidizer comprise a passage that extends through said ignitor body, said passage having a first end and a second end, said first end connected to a gaseous fuel source and said second end located adjacent said gap and a combustion chamber.

7. The ignitor of claim 3 wherein a plurality of said second electrodes are located equidistant from said first electrode.

8. The ignitor of claim 7 further comprising an ignitor body, and said first and second electrodes are fixedly secured to said ignitor body.

9. The ignitor of claim 8 wherein said means for supplying a gaseous fuel into said gap comprise a passage that extends through said ignitor body, said passage having a first end and a second end, said first end connected to a gaseous fuel source and said second end located adjacent said gap.