Coletti, Michele and Gabriel, Stephen B.
Hollow cathode life time model
Journal of Plasma and Fusion Research Series, 8, .
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In this paper the latest advances in the hollow cathode lifetime modeling carried out at the University of Southampton will be presented. A barium oxide insert depletion model and a surface low work function compounds deposition/depletion model have been already developed by the authors. Here a procedure to update the plasma parameters relatively to changes of the hollow cathode surface work function and an end-of-life criterion will be presented. The procedure has been validated with experimental results and then coupled with the deposition/desorption model already developed by the authors. The evolution of the surface of the cathode tested for 28,000 hours by Sarver-Verhey has been simulated and from the data obtained an end of life criterion has been developed. Then using this criterion the ELT NSTAR discharge cathode has been simulated under the throttling conditions used during the Deep Space 1 Spare Ion Engine. The lifetimes found are in agreement with the theoretical expectation.
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