Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-22-114


One of the most prospective aerospace engines is a Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) thruster -- an effective electric engine without moving parts. Originally designed by NASA for flights over other planets, it has been shown to be very promising for Earth-based flights as well. The efficiency of this engine depends on the proper selection of the corresponding electric field. To make this selection, we need to know, in particular, how its thrust depends on the atmospheric pressure. At present, for this dependence, we only know an approximate semi-empirical formula. In this paper, we use natural invariance requirements to come up with a theoretical explanation for this empirical dependence, and to propose a more general family of models that can lead to more accurate description of the DBD thruster's behavior.