Understanding hollow cathode thrust production mechanisms

Grubisic, A.N. and Gabriel, S.B. (2009) Understanding hollow cathode thrust production mechanisms. In, 31st International Electric Propulsion Conference, Ann Arbor, USA, 20 - 24 Sep 2009. USA, Electric Rocket Propulsion Society27pp.


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This paper reviews some of the design considerations for improving hollow cathode thrust efficiency and investigates propellant acceleration mechanisms based on experimental testing of a T5, T6 and ¼ inch cathode. A pendulum micro-thrust-balance was built for the measurement of thrust levels in the T5, T6 cathodes while a hemispherical energy analyzer was used for ion energy measurements in the ¼ inch hollow cathode. The data suggest that the thrust mechanism of hollow cathodes is composed primarily of gas dynamic mechanisms, particularly as a result of an intense electron pressure at the cathode exit. At high currents and low flowrates magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) forces arising from the self-induced azimuthal magnetic field within the orifice become significant in the acceleration process

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Related URLs:
Keywords: hollow cathode, plasma, propulsion
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Astronautics
ePrint ID: 72469
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
24 September 2009Published
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:04
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/72469

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