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Transient electromagnetic behaviour in inductive oxygen and argon–oxygen plasmas

Transient electromagnetic behaviour in inductive oxygen and argon–oxygen plasmas
Transient electromagnetic behaviour in inductive oxygen and argon–oxygen plasmas
In order to develop inductive electric propulsion as a flexible, throttleable technology for future space operations, a greater understanding of discharge transitions within the inductive plasma generator discharge chamber is required. This paper presents a non-intrusive method to determine the conditions under which transitions between the capacitive, low inductive, and high inductive regimes occur with greater accuracy, as well as determining the proportion of a single discharge cycle the plasma spends in either capacitive or inductive regime. Such a method allows a more robust method of classification of inductive discharges than previously available and can be applied to numerous gases. This approach presents an advantage over previous methods which relied on strongly radiating or thermally reactive gases to exhibit certain behaviour (due to the restriction of classical diagnostics on such high power sources) before a transition could be confirmed. This paper presents results from the proposed method applied to a pure oxygen plasma as well as two combinations of argon and oxygen (at 1:1 and 3:2 Ar:O2 volumetric ratios) in order to assess the tunability of electromagnetic regime transitions through modifications of gas composition rather than mechanical alterations. Transitions to the higher inductive mode were observed for much lower input powers for the argon–oxygen blends, as was expected, allowing final discharge conditions to occupy the inductive regime for 94% and 85% of a single discharge cycle for the 3:2 and 1:1 Ar:O2 mixtures, respectively. Pure oxygen achieved a maximum inductive proportion of 71% by comparison.
0963-0252
1-10
Chadwick, Ashley R.
5a40e88e-e42a-45e9-8a6d-da46334ade01
Herdrich, Georg
c871e6e4-243b-46a8-843f-28c4770e08e3
Kim, Min Kwan
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Dally, Bassam
fc96eccc-bf96-4fed-a947-7bccc80a985c
Chadwick, Ashley R.
5a40e88e-e42a-45e9-8a6d-da46334ade01
Herdrich, Georg
c871e6e4-243b-46a8-843f-28c4770e08e3
Kim, Min Kwan
18ed9a6f-484f-4a7c-bf24-b630938c1acc
Dally, Bassam
fc96eccc-bf96-4fed-a947-7bccc80a985c

Chadwick, Ashley R., Herdrich, Georg, Kim, Min Kwan and Dally, Bassam (2016) Transient electromagnetic behaviour in inductive oxygen and argon–oxygen plasmas. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 25 (6), 1-10. (doi:10.1088/0963-0252/25/6/065025).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In order to develop inductive electric propulsion as a flexible, throttleable technology for future space operations, a greater understanding of discharge transitions within the inductive plasma generator discharge chamber is required. This paper presents a non-intrusive method to determine the conditions under which transitions between the capacitive, low inductive, and high inductive regimes occur with greater accuracy, as well as determining the proportion of a single discharge cycle the plasma spends in either capacitive or inductive regime. Such a method allows a more robust method of classification of inductive discharges than previously available and can be applied to numerous gases. This approach presents an advantage over previous methods which relied on strongly radiating or thermally reactive gases to exhibit certain behaviour (due to the restriction of classical diagnostics on such high power sources) before a transition could be confirmed. This paper presents results from the proposed method applied to a pure oxygen plasma as well as two combinations of argon and oxygen (at 1:1 and 3:2 Ar:O2 volumetric ratios) in order to assess the tunability of electromagnetic regime transitions through modifications of gas composition rather than mechanical alterations. Transitions to the higher inductive mode were observed for much lower input powers for the argon–oxygen blends, as was expected, allowing final discharge conditions to occupy the inductive regime for 94% and 85% of a single discharge cycle for the 3:2 and 1:1 Ar:O2 mixtures, respectively. Pure oxygen achieved a maximum inductive proportion of 71% by comparison.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 November 2016
Published date: 18 November 2016
Organisations: Astronautics Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405037
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405037
ISSN: 0963-0252
PURE UUID: c2399393-4efd-4a0f-9241-ff6ad47f7c73

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Date deposited: 26 Jan 2017 11:29
Last modified: 06 Aug 2019 17:55

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Contributors

Author: Ashley R. Chadwick
Author: Georg Herdrich
Author: Min Kwan Kim
Author: Bassam Dally

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