Effect of magnetic field profile on the anode fall in a Hall-effect thruster discharge

L. Dorf, Y. Raitses, N. J. Fisch

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22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of the magnetic field configuration on the anode fall in an E × B discharge of a Hall thruster is studied both experimentally and theoretically. Plasma potential, electron temperature, and plasma density in the near-anode region are measured with a biased probe in three configurations of the magnetic field. It is observed that the anode fall in a Hall thruster can be changed from negative to positive by creating a magnetic field configuration with a zero magnetic field region. Similar configurations are utilized in some advanced Hall thrusters, like an ATON thruster. Results of the measurements are employed to model a Hall thruster with different magnetic field configurations, including the one with a zero-field region. Different anode sheath regimes observed experimentally are used to set the boundary conditions for the quasineutral plasma. Numerical solutions obtained with a hydrodynamic quasi-one-dimensional model suggest that varying the magnetic field configuration affects the electron mobility both inside and outside the channel, as well as the plasma density distribution along the axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number057104
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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