Quasi-steady testing approach for high-power Hall thrusters

Lubos Brieda, Yevgeny Raitses, Edgar Choueiri, Roger Myers, Michael Keidar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hall effect thrusters operating at power levels in excess of several hundreds of kilowatts have been identified as enabling technologies for applications such as lunar tugs, large satellite orbital transfer vehicles, and solar system exploration. These large thrusters introduce significant testing challenges due to the propellant flow rate exceeding the pumping speed available in most laboratories. Even with proposed upgrades in mind, the likelihood that multiple vacuum facilities will exist in the near future to allow long duration testing of high-power Hall thrusters operating at power levels in excess of 100 kW remains extremely low. In this article, we numerically explore the feasibility of testing Hall thrusters in a quasi-steady mode defined by pulsing the mass flow rate between a nominal and a low value. Our simulations indicate that sub-second durations available before the chamber reaches critical pressure are sufficiently long to achieve the steady-state current and flow field distributions, allowing us to characterize thruster performance and the near plume region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number183303
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume130
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 14 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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