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Non-Maxwellian electron energy probability functions in the plume of a SPT-100 Hall thruster
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics. Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Germany.
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics. University of Iceland, Iceland.
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.
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2018 (English)In: Plasma sources science & technology (Print), ISSN 0963-0252, E-ISSN 1361-6595, Vol. 27, no 1, 015006Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present measurements of the electron density, the effective electron temperature, the plasma potential, and the electron energy probability function (EEPF) in the plume of a 1.5 kW-class SPT-100 Hall thruster, derived from cylindrical Langmuir probe measurements. The measurements were taken on the plume axis at distances between 550 and 1550 mm from the thruster exit plane, and at different angles from the plume axis at 550 mm for three operating points of the thruster, characterized by different discharge voltages and mass flow rates. The bulk of the electron population can be approximated as a Maxwellian distribution, but the measured distributions were seen to decline faster at higher energy. The measured EEPFs were best modelled with a general EEPF with an exponent a between 1.2 and 1.5, and their axial and angular characteristics were studied for the different operating points of the thruster. As a result, the exponent a from the fitted distribution was seen to be almost constant as a function of the axial distance along the plume, as well as across the angles. However, the exponent a was seen to be affected by the mass flow rate, suggesting a possible relationship with the collision rate, especially close to the thruster exit. The ratio of the specific heats, the. factor, between the measured plasma parameters was found to be lower than the adiabatic value of 5/3 for each of the thruster settings, indicating the existence of non-trivial kinetic heat fluxes in the near collisionless plume. These results are intended to be used as input and/or testing properties for plume expansion models in further work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics (IOP), 2018. Vol. 27, no 1, 015006
Keyword [en]
EEPF, Hall thruster, plasma plume, electric propulsion
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-221000DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/aaa06bISI: 000418920600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-221000DiVA: diva2:1173075
Funder
VINNOVA, 2016-04094; 2014-0478
Note

QC 20180111

Available from: 2018-01-11 Created: 2018-01-11 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Giono, GabrielGudmundsson, Jon TomasIvchenko, MykolaOlentsenko, Georgi
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