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Title: Electron temperature measurement in Maxwellian non-isothermal beam plasma of an ion thruster

Published electron temperature profiles of the beam plasma from ion thrusters reveal many divergences both in magnitude and radial variation. In order to know exactly the radial distributions of electron temperature and understand the beam plasma characteristics, we applied five different experimental approaches to measure the spatial profiles of electron temperature and compared the agreement and disagreement of the electron temperature profiles obtained from these techniques. Experimental results show that the triple Langmuir probe and adiabatic poly-tropic law methods could provide more accurate space-resolved electron temperature of the beam plasma than other techniques. Radial electron temperature profiles indicate that the electrons in the beam plasma are non-isothermal, which is supported by a radial decrease (∼2 eV) of electron temperature as the plume plasma expands outward. Therefore, the adiabatic “poly-tropic law” is more appropriate than the isothermal “barometric law” to be used in electron temperature calculations. Moreover, the calculation results show that the electron temperature profiles derived from the “poly-tropic law” are in better agreement with the experimental data when the specific heat ratio (γ) lies in the range of 1.2-1.4 instead of 5/3.
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22392362
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 86; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; BEAMS; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ION THRUSTERS; LANGMUIR PROBE; PLASMA; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; SPECIFIC HEAT