Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Stefanos Fasoulas


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Klinkner

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Prof. Fasoulas

Sheyla Fröhler-Valdez

Prof. Klinkner

Annegret Möller

Prof. Krabbe

Barbara Klett


Dr. Thomas Wegmann


Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart

Tel. +49 711 685-69604
Fax +49 711 685-63596

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Inductive Plasma Thruster

Inductive Plasma Generators (IPGs) operate under the principle of transferring energy to a working fluid indirectly by means of a radio-frequency (RF) oscillating electromagnetic field. By applying current to an inductive coil (or antenna) surrounding a dielectric discharge chamber (or tube), a series of axial and azimuthal electric and magnetic fields are produced, with the dominance determined by the degree of ionisation of the plasma within the discharge chamber. At low applied powers and densities, capacitive behaviour is dominant, characterised by an axial electric field and lower power coupling between power supply and plasma. At higher powers and densities, the azimuthal electric field produces a strong axial magnetic field, which itself instigates a ring current within the plasma. This mode is termed inductive operation and exhibits much greater coupling into the flow.