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Understanding hollow cathode thrust production mechanisms

Grubisic, A.N. and Gabriel, S.B. (2009) Understanding hollow cathode thrust production mechanisms At 31st International Electric Propulsion Conference. 20 - 24 Sep 2009. 27 pp.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


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

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Published date: 24 September 2009
Venue - Dates: 31st International Electric Propulsion Conference, 2009-09-20 - 2009-09-24
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Keywords: hollow cathode, plasma, propulsion
Organisations: Astronautics Group


Local EPrints ID: 72469
PURE UUID: fe36a322-6402-4690-b4c4-75f0625d2700

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Date deposited: 15 Feb 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:54

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Author: A.N. Grubisic
Author: S.B. Gabriel

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