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Ion Source for a Rocket Payload.

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Quarterly status rept. no. 6 (Final), Sep 80-Sep 82,

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This report covers the design, development, testing and delivery of ion source and electron gun systems as part of a sounding rocket payload. A Prototype model was delivered for laboratory test mapping and compatibility with power supplies. A Flight Model was also delivered which is scheduled to be part of a sounding rocket payload. The Flight Model is designed to eject ions and electrons into the upper atmosphere according to a specified schedule. The basic ion source is the Capillaritron which can produce ions using any gas. It is composed of a very fine capillary nozzle from which gas is emitted when high voltage is applied. The source produces a small luminous plume from which ion and fast neutrals are ejected into a beam. It requires neither a cathode nor any preparations to turn on or off. Both the delivered Prototype Model and the Flight Model contain nine 9 capillary nozzles, each able to produce from less than one microamp to over one milliamp of beam current. The electron gun is composed of a 10 mil Ta wire about 2.5cm long and is capable of emitting over 10 milliamps when heated by about 16 watts. Both the ion source and the electron gun are capable of operating from about one microamp to ten milliamps independently of each other. Specifications, operational data and photographs of these models are included in this report. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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