Effect of Background Pressure on the Plasma Oscillation Characteristics of the HiVHAc Hall Thruster
Technical rept. Jun-Jul 2014
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA ROCKET PROPULSION DIV
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During a single-string integration test of the NASA HiVHAc Hall thruster, a number of plasma diagnostics were implemented to study the effect of varying facility background pressure on thruster operation. These diagnostics characterized the thruster performance, the plume, and the plasma oscillations in the thruster. Thruster performance and plume characteristics as functions of background pressure were previously published. This paper will focus on changes in the plasma oscillation characteristics with changing background pressure. The diagnostics used to study plasma oscillations include a high-speed camera and a set of high-speed Langmuir probes. The results show a rise in the oscillation frequency of the breathing mode with rising background pressure, which is hypothesized to be due to a shortening accelerationionization zone. An attempt is made to apply a simplified ingestion model to the data. The combined results are used to estimate the maximum acceptable background pressure for performance and wear testing.
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Electric and Ion Propulsion