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Direct Current Plasma Electron Source for Electric Propulsion Applications Using Atomic and Molecular Propellants

Gurciullo, Antonio, Lucca Fabris, Andrea and Knoll, Aaron (2017) Direct Current Plasma Electron Source for Electric Propulsion Applications Using Atomic and Molecular Propellants IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 45 (9). pp. 2472-2480.

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The design and performance of a novel direct current (dc) neutralizer for electric propulsion applications are presented. The neutralizer exploits an E × B discharge to enhance ionization via electron-neutral collisions. Tests are performed with helium, argon, xenon, air, and water vapor as working gases. The I-V characteristics and extraction parameters are measured for both atomic and molecular gases. The maximum partial power efficiency is 4.2 mA/W in argon, 2.7 mA/W in air, and 2 mA/W in water vapor. The typical utilization factor is below 1 and the power consumption is less than 120 W. A semiempirical model is derived to predict the performance of dc plasma cathodes using atomic gas. A comparison with existing plasma cathodes and conventional LaB6 cathodes is presented, and design optimizations aimed at improving the performance are proposed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Lucca Fabris,
Date : 15 August 2017
DOI : 10.1109/TPS.2017.2733345
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works
Uncontrolled Keywords : Cathodes; Electron sources; Magnetrons; Plasma devices; Space vehicle propulsion
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 09 Apr 2018 15:25
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:09

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