Hollow cathode thrusters for all-electric spacecraft

Grubisic, A.N. and Gabriel, S.B. (2007) Hollow cathode thrusters for all-electric spacecraft At 58th International Astronautical Federation Congress. 24 - 28 Sep 2007. 15 pp.


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This paper characterizes thrust performance of a variant of the T6 hollow cathode modified for improved operational characteristics. The device displays promising performance and highlights the potential for application as a microthruster. The T6 cathode is able to produce specific impulse of over 1050s with xenon and argon; however the dominant acceleration mechanism at low flow rates is shown to be almost entirely electromagnetic effectively constituting a low power, magneto-plasma-dynamic thruster. The modified cathode also displayed very low discharge voltages ~12V and stable operation while carrying currents as high as 30-Amps on flow rates of less than 0.1mgs-1 down to 0.04mgs-1 with xenon. This investigation also highlights the importance of electrode geometry in hollow cathode thruster design and indeed in all other applications of hollow cathode where flow rates should be minimized

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Venue - Dates: 58th International Astronautical Federation Congress, 2007-09-24 - 2007-09-28
Related URLs:
Keywords: hollow cathode, micro thruster, electric propulsion, plasma, ion

Organisations: Astronautics Group
ePrint ID: 72463
Date :
Date Event
24 September 2007Published
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:55
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/72463

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