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The Quad Confinement Thruster - Preliminary Performance Characterization and Thrust Vector Control

Knoll, AK, Melly, B and Lappas, V (2011) The Quad Confinement Thruster - Preliminary Performance Characterization and Thrust Vector Control In: 32nd International Electric Propulsion Conference, 2011-09-11 - 2011-09-15, Wiesbaden, Germany.

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A new variety of electric thruster, the Quad Confinement Thruster, has been designed and tested during a preliminary one year development effort. This thruster utilizes an innovative magnetic cusp topology. Eight electromagnets are used to create a convex magnetic field structure with a center cusp, and four outlying cusps along the periphery. The thrust produced by the device is derived from the momentum of ions accelerated through a Hall effect static electric field. Direct thrust measurements show a specific impulse up to 700s at powers of less than 100W. This specific impulse was achieved using a propellant flow rate of 5sccm of Krypton, and corresponded to a thrust of approximately 2.1mN. One of the key motivations for this research is the ability of this thruster to actively control the direction of thrust through manipulation of the magnetic field by regulating power to the individual solenoid magnets. Preliminary experiments, which measure the profile of the plasma density at two axial stations downstream of the channel exit, appear to show a 14 degree thrust vectoring capability of the device.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Authors :
Knoll, AK
Melly, B
Lappas, V
Date : 11 September 2011
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:21
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:12

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