skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Ion ejection from a permanent-magnet mini-helicon thruster

Abstract

A small helicon source, 5 cm in diameter and 5 cm long, using a permanent magnet (PM) to create the DC magnetic field B, is investigated for its possible use as an ion spacecraft thruster. Such ambipolar thrusters do not require a separate electron source for neutralization. The discharge is placed in the far-field of the annular PM, where B is fairly uniform. The plasma is ejected into a large chamber, where the ion energy distribution is measured with a retarding-field energy analyzer. The resulting specific impulse is lower than that of Hall thrusters but can easily be increased to relevant values by applying to the endplate of the discharge a small voltage relative to spacecraft ground.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1594 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22303447
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRON SOURCES; ENERGY SPECTRA; IONS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PERMANENT MAGNETS; PLASMA; PULSES; THRUSTERS

Citation Formats

Chen, Francis F. Ion ejection from a permanent-magnet mini-helicon thruster. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4896238.
Chen, Francis F. Ion ejection from a permanent-magnet mini-helicon thruster. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4896238.
Chen, Francis F. Mon . "Ion ejection from a permanent-magnet mini-helicon thruster". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4896238.
@article{osti_22303447,
title = {Ion ejection from a permanent-magnet mini-helicon thruster},
author = {Chen, Francis F.},
abstractNote = {A small helicon source, 5 cm in diameter and 5 cm long, using a permanent magnet (PM) to create the DC magnetic field B, is investigated for its possible use as an ion spacecraft thruster. Such ambipolar thrusters do not require a separate electron source for neutralization. The discharge is placed in the far-field of the annular PM, where B is fairly uniform. The plasma is ejected into a large chamber, where the ion energy distribution is measured with a retarding-field energy analyzer. The resulting specific impulse is lower than that of Hall thrusters but can easily be increased to relevant values by applying to the endplate of the discharge a small voltage relative to spacecraft ground.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4896238},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 9,
volume = 21,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {9}
}