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Title: Optimization of a coaxial electron cyclotron resonance plasma thruster with an analytical model

Abstract

A new cathodeless plasma thruster currently under development at Onera is presented and characterized experimentally and analytically. The coaxial thruster consists of a microwave antenna immersed in a magnetic field, which allows electron heating via cyclotron resonance. The magnetic field diverges at the thruster exit and forms a nozzle that accelerates the quasi-neutral plasma to generate a thrust. Different thruster configurations are tested, and in particular, the influence of the source diameter on the thruster performance is investigated. At microwave powers of about 30 W and a xenon flow rate of 0.1 mg/s (1 SCCM), a mass utilization of 60% and a thrust of 1 mN are estimated based on angular electrostatic probe measurements performed downstream of the thruster in the exhaust plume. Results are found to be in fair agreement with a recent analytical helicon thruster model that has been adapted for the coaxial geometry used here.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]; ; ;  [1];  [3]
  1. Physics and Instrumentation Department, Onera -The French Aerospace Lab, Palaiseau, Cedex 91123 (France)
  2. (France)
  3. Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS, Sorbonne Universites, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Univ Paris-Sud, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22410347
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ANTENNAS; CONFIGURATION; ELECTRON CYCLOTRON-RESONANCE; ELECTRONS; ELECTROSTATIC PROBES; FLOW RATE; HEATING; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MICROWAVE RADIATION; NOZZLES; PLASMA; THRUSTERS; XENON

Citation Formats

Cannat, F., E-mail: felix.cannat@onera.fr, E-mail: felix.cannat@gmail.com, Lafleur, T., Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS, Sorbonne Universites, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Univ Paris-Sud, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, Jarrige, J., Elias, P.-Q., Packan, D., and Chabert, P. Optimization of a coaxial electron cyclotron resonance plasma thruster with an analytical model. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4920966.
Cannat, F., E-mail: felix.cannat@onera.fr, E-mail: felix.cannat@gmail.com, Lafleur, T., Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS, Sorbonne Universites, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Univ Paris-Sud, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, Jarrige, J., Elias, P.-Q., Packan, D., & Chabert, P. Optimization of a coaxial electron cyclotron resonance plasma thruster with an analytical model. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4920966.
Cannat, F., E-mail: felix.cannat@onera.fr, E-mail: felix.cannat@gmail.com, Lafleur, T., Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS, Sorbonne Universites, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Univ Paris-Sud, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, Jarrige, J., Elias, P.-Q., Packan, D., and Chabert, P. 2015. "Optimization of a coaxial electron cyclotron resonance plasma thruster with an analytical model". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4920966.
@article{osti_22410347,
title = {Optimization of a coaxial electron cyclotron resonance plasma thruster with an analytical model},
author = {Cannat, F., E-mail: felix.cannat@onera.fr, E-mail: felix.cannat@gmail.com and Lafleur, T. and Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS, Sorbonne Universites, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Univ Paris-Sud, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau and Jarrige, J. and Elias, P.-Q. and Packan, D. and Chabert, P.},
abstractNote = {A new cathodeless plasma thruster currently under development at Onera is presented and characterized experimentally and analytically. The coaxial thruster consists of a microwave antenna immersed in a magnetic field, which allows electron heating via cyclotron resonance. The magnetic field diverges at the thruster exit and forms a nozzle that accelerates the quasi-neutral plasma to generate a thrust. Different thruster configurations are tested, and in particular, the influence of the source diameter on the thruster performance is investigated. At microwave powers of about 30 W and a xenon flow rate of 0.1 mg/s (1 SCCM), a mass utilization of 60% and a thrust of 1 mN are estimated based on angular electrostatic probe measurements performed downstream of the thruster in the exhaust plume. Results are found to be in fair agreement with a recent analytical helicon thruster model that has been adapted for the coaxial geometry used here.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4920966},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 5,
volume = 22,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 5
}
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