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COMPARATIVE MEASUREMENTS OF BEAM POWER IN ION-ROCKET RESEARCH
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON D C
Preliminary results obtained from three schemes for measuring high-current ion-beam powers in experimental ion-rocket engines are reported. Electrical current and potential meter values were used to calculate ion-beam power this metered power is compared with the intercepted ion-beam power as measured by two types of calorimeters. A segmented steady-state calorimeter with a 5- by 25-cm beam collector plate metered the power by the temperature difference measured across a calibrated thermal resistance. The other calorimeter system was a rake of nine hot-wire calorimeters that had as sensitive elements 0.001- by 0.50-cm wires. The fine, electrically heated wire responds to ion impingement with a voltage output proportional to the temperature resistance change of the wire. The three methods resulted in agreement of approximately or - 5 for cesium ion-beam powers over the range of 400 to 1000 watts. Author