Effects of ignition on discharge symmetry in gas-fed pulsed plasma thrusters

J. K. Ziemer, T. E. Markusic, Edgar Yazid Choueiri, Daniel Birx

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the results from a new diagnostic tool for investigating the effects of ignition on the discharge symmetry in gas-fed pulsed plasma thrusters (GFPPTs). Using a fast-framing camera, up to 16 individual pictures of a single GFPPT discharge can be captured at frequencies as high as 20 MHz. This high framing rate capability allows the discharge initiation and current sheet formation to be visualized with a large degree of temporal resolution. Varying the frame rate, number and size of pictures per discharge, as well as the trigger delay sent to the camera allowed multiple discharges at different stages to be visualized. Various configurations of GFPPT electrode geometry and discharge ignition systems were photographed in operation. It is shown that the large surface flash-over igniters used in early GFPPT designs are unreliable in providing a constant, symmetric discharge initiation. Smaller semi-conductor spark gap ignitors used in later GFPPT designs have demon-strated more reliable ignition individually, however, asymmetries in the entire discharge still exist. The effect of a modification to the propellant feed system on the asymmetry of the discharge is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Event34th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1998 - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Jul 13 1998Jul 15 1998

Other

Other34th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1998
CountryUnited States
CityCleveland
Period7/13/987/15/98

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Ziemer, J. K., Markusic, T. E., Choueiri, E. Y., & Birx, D. (1998). Effects of ignition on discharge symmetry in gas-fed pulsed plasma thrusters. Paper presented at 34th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1998, Cleveland, United States.