Performance testing and internal probe measurements of a high specific impulse Hall thruster
Author(s)Warner, Noah Zachary, 1978-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
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The BHT-1000 high specific impulse Hall thruster was used for performance testing and internal plasma measurements to support the ongoing development of computational models. The thruster was performance tested in both single and two stage anode configurations. In the single stage configuration, the specific impulse exceeded 3000s at a discharge voltage of 1000V while maintaining a thrust efficiency of 50 percent. Two stage operation produced higher thrust, specific impulse and thrust efficiency than the single stage configuration at most discharge voltages. The thruster thermal warmup was characterized using a thermocouple embedded in the outer exit ring, and the magnetic field topology was investigated using a Gaussmeter. The single stage thruster configuration was outfitted with a series of axially distributed Langmuir probes to determine plasma properties inside the discharge channel. Probe data were taken at discharge voltages between 300-900V. Axial profiles of electron temperature, electron density, and plasma potential were measured and compared to results of a previously developed two dimensional particle-in-cell simulation of the BHT-1000 thruster. The experimental data matched the simulation results well, particularly in profiles of electron temperature and plasma potential at low discharge voltages. The peak electron temperature was shown to depend on discharge voltage through a power law relationship in both the experimental and simulated data. The greatest discrepancies between experimental data and simulation results were found to be in comparisons of electron density, where it appears that the simulation may be "smearing" the plasma over too wide of an axial region. Hypotheses for this behavior were discussed along with recommendations for future work.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2003.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Page 116 blank.Includes bibliographical references (p. 113-115).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.