Evolution of the Ion Velocity Distribution in the Near Field of the BHT-200-X3 Hall Thruster
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
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This work presents an analysis of near plume velocity distributions of the Busek BHT-200-X3 200 W laboratory Hall thruster derived from laser-induced fluorescence measurements of the 5d472-6p352 xenon ion excited state transition. The evolution of the axial and radial velocity distributions is presented from the exit plane to approximately 0.7 exit diameters downstream. It is shown that the distributions evolve significantly between the exit channel center and the inner portion of the channel where there are high frac-tions of low velocity ions. It is believed that this may be due to the slight inward focus of the xenon ion propellant colliding on the surface, recombining, and subsequently being re-ionized. Low axial velocity ions appear downstream of the thruster exit plane. While their origin is not entirely certain, the most likely explanation appears to be cross annular flow. Strong evidence of charge exchange is also evident producing high velocity wings on the primary ion velocity peak reminiscent of ion energy analyzer studies of other thrusters. A survey of the axial and radial velocity distributions along the exposed exterior boron nitride nose cone covering the central magnetic pole is performed to determine the behavior of the ions impacting this critical surface. The VDF is ideal for comparison with numerical simulations since it allows for direct comparison of the fundamental ion acceleration. External VDF data can even provide limited insight as to the internal ion formation and acceleration processes.
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Radiation and Nuclear Chemistry
- Electric and Ion Propulsion