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Title: Ion velocities in a micro-cathode arc thruster

Abstract

Ion velocities in the plasma jet generated by the micro-cathode arc thruster are studied by means of time-of-flight method using enhanced ion detection system (EIDS). The EIDS triggers perturbations (spikes) on arc current waveform, and the larger current in the spike generates denser plasma bunches propagating along with the mainstream plasma. The EIDS utilizes double electrostatic probes rather than single probes. The average Ti ion velocity is measured to be around 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} m/s without a magnetic field. It was found that the application of a magnetic field does not change ion velocities in the interelectrode region while leads to ion acceleration in the free expanding plasma plume by a factor of about 2. Ion velocities of about 3.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} m/s were detected for the magnetic field of about 300 mT at distance of about 100-200 mm from the cathode. It is proposed that plasma is accelerated due to Lorentz force. The average thrust is calculated using the ion velocity measurements and the cathode mass consumption rate, and its increase with the magnetic field is demonstrated.

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. The George Washington University, Washington, DC 22202 (United States)
  2. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (Israel)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22072499
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2012 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATION; CATHODES; CONSUMPTION RATES; DISTANCE; DISTURBANCES; ELECTRIC ARCS; ELECTROSTATIC PROBES; ION DETECTION; LORENTZ FORCE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; PLASMA JETS; PLUMES; THRUSTERS; TIME-OF-FLIGHT METHOD; TITANIUM IONS; VELOCITY; WAVE FORMS

Citation Formats

Zhuang Taisen, Shashurin, Alexey, Keidar, Michael, and Beilis, Isak. Ion velocities in a micro-cathode arc thruster. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4725500.
Zhuang Taisen, Shashurin, Alexey, Keidar, Michael, & Beilis, Isak. Ion velocities in a micro-cathode arc thruster. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4725500.
Zhuang Taisen, Shashurin, Alexey, Keidar, Michael, and Beilis, Isak. Fri . "Ion velocities in a micro-cathode arc thruster". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4725500.
@article{osti_22072499,
title = {Ion velocities in a micro-cathode arc thruster},
author = {Zhuang Taisen and Shashurin, Alexey and Keidar, Michael and Beilis, Isak},
abstractNote = {Ion velocities in the plasma jet generated by the micro-cathode arc thruster are studied by means of time-of-flight method using enhanced ion detection system (EIDS). The EIDS triggers perturbations (spikes) on arc current waveform, and the larger current in the spike generates denser plasma bunches propagating along with the mainstream plasma. The EIDS utilizes double electrostatic probes rather than single probes. The average Ti ion velocity is measured to be around 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} m/s without a magnetic field. It was found that the application of a magnetic field does not change ion velocities in the interelectrode region while leads to ion acceleration in the free expanding plasma plume by a factor of about 2. Ion velocities of about 3.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} m/s were detected for the magnetic field of about 300 mT at distance of about 100-200 mm from the cathode. It is proposed that plasma is accelerated due to Lorentz force. The average thrust is calculated using the ion velocity measurements and the cathode mass consumption rate, and its increase with the magnetic field is demonstrated.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4725500},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 6,
volume = 19,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {6}
}