ARC-OVER AND RAPID PUMPDOWN TESTS ON THE CESIUM CONTACT IONIZATION ENGINE FLIGHT TEST PAYLOAD.
Rept. for 4-15 May 63,
AIR FORCE AERO PROPULSION LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO
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Flight profile simulation tests of a cesium ion engine flight test payload were conducted to investigate possible causes of the failure incurred in the first in-space flight test of the cesium ion engine. The engine package, composed of the engine and power conditioning equipment, was subjected to a series of flight pressure profile tests to determine the behavior of the package during launch. Steady state arc-over pressure tests were also made to ascertain the pressure at which high voltage gaseous breakdown would occur. The results of these tests proved that the engine package is a negligible outgassing source. The pressure at which steady state arc-over was experienced was shown to be relatively high, proving that any arc-over experienced in the flight test was not initiated by outgassing in the engine package. Author