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Accession Number N14-0000334
Title Simulated Beam Extraction Performance Characterization of a 50-cm Ion Thruster Discharge.
Publication Date Jun 2013
Media Count 20p
Personal Author A. Hubble C. Davis D. Chen E. Viges J. E. Foster P. Peterson S. Nowak-Gucker
Abstract A 50 cm ion thruster is being developed to operate at >65 percent total efficiency at 11 kW, 2700 s Isp and over 25 kW, 4500 s Isp at a total efficiency of >75 percent. The engine is being developed to address the need for a multimode system that can provide a range of thrust-to- power to service national and commercial near-earth onboard propulsion needs such as station-keeping and orbit transfer. Operating characteristics of the 50 cm ion thruster were measured under simulated beam extraction. The discharge current distribution at the various magnet rings was measured over a range of operating conditions. The relationship between the anode current distribution and the resulting plasma uniformity and ion flux measured at the thruster exit plane is discussed. The thermal envelope will also be investigated through the monitoring of magnet temperatures over the range of discharge powers investigated. Discharge losses as a function of propellant utilization was also characterized at multiple simulated beam currents. Bulk plasma conditions such as electron temperature and electron density near engine centerline was measured over a range of operating conditions using an internal Langmuir probe. Sensitivity of discharge performance to chamber length is also discussed. This data acquired from this discharge study will be used in the refinement of a throttle table in anticipation for eventual beam extraction testing.
Keywords Beam currents
Electric propulsion
Electron density(Concentration)
Electron energy
Ion engines

Source Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NTIS Subject Category 84 - Space Technology
Corporate Author Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1416
Contract Number NNX10CF59P NNX11CC56C

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