Accession Number:

ADA409165

Title:

Computation of Neutral Gas Flow from a Hall Thruster into a Vacuum Chamber

Descriptive Note:

Technical papers

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA

Report Date:

2002-10-18

Pagination or Media Count:

10.0

Abstract:

The finite pressure present in vacuum chamber testing of space propulsion systems such as Hall thrusters can have a number of undesirable effects. For example, the thrust generated by the thruster is higher and the plume divergence angle larger in ground tests in comparison to space operation. To try to quantify these effects, the direct simulation Monte Carlo method is applied to model a cold flow of xenon gas expanding from a Hall thruster into a vacuum chamber. The simulations are performed for the P5 Hall thruster operating in a large vacuum tank at the University of Michigan. Comparison of the simulation results is made with experimental measurements of pressure obtained with a series of ion gauges. The mass flow rate through the thruster and the total pumping speed of the vacuum chamber are varied. A key physical parameter in the simulations concerns the probability that a xenon atom incident on a cryogenic pumping panel actually sticks to the panel. For a reasonable range of values for the sticking coefficient, excellent agreement between simulation and experiment is obtained for several different conditions.

Subject Categories:

  • Fluid Mechanics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE