An overview of plasma oscillations in hall thrusters

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Abstract

We present an up-to-date quantitative overview of the nature of oscillations in the 1 kHz-60 MHz frequency range that have been observed during operation of Hall thrusters. Contours of various plasma parameters measured inside the accelerating channel of a typical Hall thruster are used to evaluate the various stability criteria and dispersion relations of oscillations that are suspected to occur. A band by band overview of the oscillations is carried out with a description of their observed behavior and a discussion of their nature and dependencies through comparison of the calculated contours to reported observations. The discussion encompasses the excitation of low frequency azimuthal drift waves that can form a rotating spoke, axially propagating "transit-time" oscillations, high frequency azimuthal drift waves, ionization instability-type waves, and wave emission peculiar to weakly ionized inhomogeneous plasma in crossed electric and magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-304
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number465
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
Event3rd International Conference on Spacecraft Propulsion - Cannes, France
Duration: Oct 10 2000Oct 13 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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