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Experimental and analytical investigation of a modified ring cusp NSTAR engine

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dc.contributor.author Sengupta, Anita
dc.date.accessioned 2006-06-28T17:47:02Z
dc.date.available 2006-06-28T17:47:02Z
dc.date.issued 2005-10-31
dc.identifier.citation 29th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Princeton, New Jersey, October 31 - November 4, 2005. en
dc.identifier.clearanceno 29th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Princeton, New Jersey, October 31 - November 4, 2005.
dc.identifier.clearanceno 05-2917
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39402
dc.description.abstract A series of experimental measurements on a modified laboratory NSTAR engine were used to validate a zero dimensional analytical discharge performance model of a ring cusp ion thruster. The model predicts the discharge performance of a ring cusp NSTAR thruster as a function the magnetic field configuration, thruster geometry, and throttle level. Analytical formalisms for electron and ion confinement are used to predict the ionization efficiency for a given thruster design. Explicit determination of discharge loss and volume averaged plasma parameters are also obtained. The model was used to predict the performance of the nominal and modified three and four ring cusp 30-cm ion thruster configurations operating at the full power (2.3 kW) NSTAR throttle level. Experimental measurements of the modified engine configuration discharge loss compare well with the predicted value for propellant utilizations from 80 to 95%. The theory, as validated by experiment, indicates that increasing the magnetic strength of the minimum closed reduces maxwellian electron diffusion and electrostatically confines the ion population and subsequent loss to the anode wall. The theory also indicates that increasing the cusp strength and minimizing the cusp area improves primary electron confinement increasing the probability of an ionization collision prior to loss at the cusp. en
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en
dc.format.extent 3674777 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2005. en
dc.relation.ispartofseries IEPC en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2005-160 en
dc.subject cathodes en
dc.subject ion engines en
dc.subject ion thrusters en
dc.title Experimental and analytical investigation of a modified ring cusp NSTAR engine en
dc.type Preprint en


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