LABORATORY TESTING OF THE SPACE-CHARGE-SHEATH ELECTRIC THRUSTOR.
Technical rept. Jan-Dec 68,
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CALIF LAB OPERATIONS
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Recent experimental results obtained with a laboratory model of the space-charge-sheath thrustor are reported. The principal feature of this thrustor is the electrostatic acceleration of ions in a space-charge sheath formed on the ionizer. Operating conditions were a specific impulse of 2700 to 5500 sec, a magnetic field strength of 800 to 2500 G, an accelerating gap of 1 to 3 mm, an ionizer surface if 13.8 sq cm, a cesium vapor pressure of 5 to 40 mm Hg, and an ion-beam current density of 4 to 14 mAsq cm. The resulting ion-beam was surprisingly well collimated, with an estimated half-angle of 1.5 deg. Under best operating conditions, the electron drain current to the anode ionizer was 31 of the total current. Author
- Electric and Ion Propulsion