I believe to have read that some of the ion thrusters or variants use RF power to create the plasma. No idea why it should be better than DC hot plasma or Hall effect.
In these thrusters, the real difficulty is the lifetime of the electrodes, and this doesn't relate in an obvious way to the basic principles used. You enter technology with no simple physical explanation here.
More at Wiki of course.
As for transmitting power to a spacecraft, I wouldn't use microwaves, as these can't be focused at a long distance. People think to lasers for it. The basic advantage is, of course, that the heavy energy source doesn't need to be accelerated.
You are not from Sacremento are are you? Where woulkd you find that info on Wikipedia?
6th February 2008 - 04:19 AM
These are old antiquated systems.
7th February 2008 - 02:29 AM
On the English Wikipedia, you type in the Research window
and you obtainhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster
I agree solar sails would be better for many spacecraft missions, but ion thrusters are fashionable right now.
7th March 2008 - 04:10 PM
Type COz Laser propulsion and Microwave Ramjets Into Alta-vista search engine.
9th March 2008 - 03:10 PM
Have a look at a big power station project aswell while your playing with your nanotube.
Type `Spiral Helix Turbine' into whatever search engine. As-well as Potential Position Theory.