Global Linear Stability Analysis of the Spoke Oscillation in Hall Effect Thrusters
Final rept. 15 May 2013-14 May 2014
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID (SPAIN)
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While the Hall Effect Thruster is a relatively mature technology that has been flown in several missions, the physics of the processes governing the thruster dynamics are not yet completely understood. In particular, the so-called anomalous diffusion, a short term for the excessive electron conductivity both inside and outside of the thruster, remains an unclear phenomenon. It is commonly agreed that a central cause for the higher-than-expected electron mobility are correlated azimuthal oscillations that create an effective azimuthal force. Recent experimental results, obtained independently in Michigan and Princeton with modern thrusters, confirm the existence of a low-frequency azimuthal oscillation, called rotating spoke, of similar nature as those originally detected in the 1960s by Janes and Lowder. This project aims at studying theoretically these oscillations by means of a global stability analysis of the Hall discharge against azimuthal disturbances. A central goal of the study will be to determine and quantify in terms of scaling laws their role in anomalous diffusion.
- Electric and Ion Propulsion