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Title: Cylindrical geometry hall thruster

An apparatus and method for thrusting plasma, utilizing a Hall thruster with a cylindrical geometry, wherein ions are accelerated in substantially the axial direction. The apparatus is suitable for operation at low power. It employs small size thruster components, including a ceramic channel, with the center pole piece of the conventional annular design thruster eliminated or greatly reduced. Efficient operation is accomplished through magnetic fields with a substantial radial component. The propellant gas is ionized at an optimal location in the thruster. A further improvement is accomplished by segmented electrodes, which produce localized voltage drops within the thruster at optimally prescribed locations. The apparatus differs from a conventional Hall thruster, which has an annular geometry, not well suited to scaling to small size, because the small size for an annular design has a great deal of surface area relative to the volume.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. (Princeton, NJ)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
874722
Report Number(s):
US 6448721
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76CH03073
Resource Type:
Patent
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
cylindrical; geometry; thruster; apparatus; method; thrusting; plasma; utilizing; thruster; cylindrical; geometry; accelerated; substantially; axial; direction; apparatus; operation; power; employs; size; thruster; components; including; ceramic; channel; center; pole; piece; conventional; annular; design; thruster; eliminated; greatly; reduced; efficient; operation; accomplished; magnetic; fields; substantial; radial; component; propellant; gas; ionized; optimal; location; thruster; improvement; accomplished; segmented; electrodes; produce; localized; voltage; drops; thruster; optimally; prescribed; locations; apparatus; differs; conventional; thruster; annular; geometry; suited; scaling; size; size; annular; design; deal; surface; volume; magnetic field; axial direction /315/313/