Hall thrusters provide efficient space propulsion by electrostatic acceleration of ions. Rotating electron clouds in the thruster overcome the space charge limitations of other methods. Images of the thruster start-up, taken with a fast camera, reveal a bright ionization period which settles into steady-state operation over 50 μs. The cathode introduces azimuthal asymmetry, which persists for about 30 μs into the ignition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Plasma devices
- plasma diagnostics