Rayleigh instability in Hall thrusters

Andrei A. Litvak, Nathaniel J. Fisch

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The linearized two-fluid hydrodynamic equations were used for the analysis of gradient-driven Rayleigh-type instabilities in Hall plasma thrusters. The derivation of instability conditions and a general criterian for stability of azimuthally propagating perturbations was also discussed. The typical values of the applied magnetic and electric fields calculated for a kilowatt-range Hall thruster were 200 G and 100 V/cm, respectively. The experimental results confirmed the presence of the purely azimuthal high-frequency waves inside the channel of the laboratory Hall thruster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1383
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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