A pulsed plasma torch and its performance in a Mach 2.5 supersonic flow

Spencer P. Kuo, Daniel Bivolaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Characteristics of torch plasma that is intended as an ignition aid within a scramjet engine are studied in a Mach 2.5 wind tunnel. This torch system, with its high-voltage discharge between the electrodes of a torch module, is operated in pulsed mode. The plasma jet generated by this torch module is diagnosed by the discharge power and through imaging of its plume in a quiescent environment and in a supersonic crossflow. This torch can deliver up to 100 J in each pulse. Within the Mach-2.5 supersonic flow, which approximates the scramjet-engine startup condition, the penetration height and the volume of torch plume into the crossflow are determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Ignition aid
  • Plasma torch
  • Scramjet
  • Supersonic combustor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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