Characterizing the Exhaust Plume of the Three-Electrode Micro Pulsed Plasma Thrusters
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Three-electrode micro-PPTs are a new version of two electrode micro-PPTs devices. Performance predictions and contamination expectations are essential characteristics needed by satellite designers. In order to focus on thruster specific impulse, thrust and efficiency, measuring the exhaust velocity or impulse bit and propellant consumption rate is essential. While this is not always possible to measure directly, focusing on the ejected mass from the PPT provides significant information allowing determination of these performance statistics. Specifically, focusing on exhaust angle distribution and velocity of the exhaust particles is the emphasis of this work. The results show that the three-electrode micro-PPT is more reliable than two-electrode micro-PPT and the operating energy range from 2 to 4.5 Joule is proper value to operate it. This research also shows that the angle distribution is similar to previous mass deposition distributions and the faster particles have shallower angles than that of slower particles. Finally, the energy did not give appreciable effect on angle and velocity distributions and have the Isp value range from 25 to 36 sec from the average exit velocity.
- Electric and Ion Propulsion