PROGRAM FOR THE EXPLORATORY DEVELOPMENT OF A CONTACT IONIZATION THRUSTOR.
Interim rept. no. 2 (Final), Apr 65-Mar 67 on Phase 2,
XEROX ELECTRO-OPTICAL SYSTEMS PASADENA CA
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Contact engines in the 10-millipound class were developed, tested, and subjected to endurance runs. Power-to-thrust ratios ranged from 150 to 200 watts per millipound. One run of 2200 hours was made. Advanced engine and large engine concepts were explored. Component development efforts centered on propellant systems, neutralizers, and ionizers. Studies were made of cesium properties and compatibility problems. Development of gas-discharge neutralizers yielded an improved understanding of their operation. Ionizer development included both improved materials and fabrication methods. Applied research tasks were concerned with ionizers and with electrodes. Surface physics experiments indicated promising materials. Porous structures were studied by ion microscopy, supported by theoretical analysis. Metallurgical investigations were aimed at producing better porous structures from better ionizer materials. Sample ionizers were compared in small ion sources. Ion optics calculations indicated improved electrode geometries. Sputtering measurements of electrode materials were made, and the concept of protecting electrodes with a liquid film was explored.
- Metallurgy and Metallography
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Electric and Ion Propulsion