Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: low-density plasma

2 Experiment Study on the Plasma Parameters Measurement in Backflow Region of Ion Thruster

Authors: Tian Kai, Yang Sheng-sheng, Li De-tian, Miao Yu-jun, Xue Yu-xiong Wang Yi, Yan Ze-dong, Ma Ya-li, ZHuang Jian-hong

Abstract:

The charge-exchange xenon (CEX) ion generated by ion thruster can backflow to the surface of spacecraft and threaten to the safety of spacecraft operation. In order to evaluate the effects of the induced plasma environment in backflow regions on the spacecraft, we designed a spherical single Langmuir probe of 5.8cm in diameter for measuring low-density plasma parameters in backflow region of ion thruster. In practice, the tests are performed in a two-dimensional array (40cm×60cm) composed of 20 sites. The experiment results illustrate that the electron temperature ranges from 3.71eV to 3.96eV, with the mean value of 3.82eV and the standard deviation of 0.064eV. The electron density ranges from 8.30×1012/m3 to 1.66×1013/m3, with the mean value of 1.30×1013/m3 and the standard deviation of 2.15×1012/m3. All data is analyzed according to the “ideal" plasma conditions of Maxwellian distributions.

Keywords: Langmuir Probe, Plasma parameters, Ion thruster, Backflow region.

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1 Study on Plasma Creation and Propagation in a Pulsed Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster

Authors: Tony Schönherr, Kimiya Komurasaki, Georg Herdrich

Abstract:

The performance and the plasma created by a pulsed magnetoplasmadynamic thruster for small satellite application is studied to understand better the ablation and plasma propagation processes occurring during the short-time discharge. The results can be applied to improve the quality of the thruster in terms of efficiency, and to tune the propulsion system to the needs required by the satellite mission. Therefore, plasma measurements with a high-speed camera and induction probes, and performance measurements of mass bit and impulse bit were conducted. Values for current sheet propagation speed, mean exhaust velocity and thrust efficiency were derived from these experimental data. A maximum in current sheet propagation was found by the high-speed camera measurements for a medium energy input and confirmed by the induction probes. A quasilinear tendency between the mass bit and the energy input, the current action integral respectively, was found, as well as a linear tendency between the created impulse and the discharge energy. The highest mean exhaust velocity and thrust efficiency was found for the highest energy input.

Keywords: electric propulsion, low-density plasma, pulsed magnetoplasmadynamicthruster, space engineering.

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