Improved Breakdown Characteristics in Vehicle Discharging Through Neutral Gas Release: Electrode Shaping and External Magnetic Fields
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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In earlier work we quantified the effect of the Mach number of neutral gas release and neutral gas species on minimum breakdown potential in ionospheric-like plasmas. The theoretical basis of this work incorporates the Townsend breakdown criterion to the ambient plasma to characterize the discharge. The results of a model based on this theory provide good agreement with the results of experiments in a variety of gases performed in the large Space Physics Simulation Chamber SPSC at the Naval Research laboratory. The experiments in the SPSC used a 10 cm x 10 cm aluminum cylinder which contained a neutral gas release valve and variable mach number nozzles. The cylinder was charged to high negative potential before neutral gas was released causing breakdown to the ambient plasma for sufficient valve plenum pressure. We have recently incorporated both electrode geometry design changes and an external magnetic field produced by a permanent magnet in an effort to lower the breakdown voltage required.
- Electricity and Magnetism