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Characterization of hollow cathode performance and thermal behavior

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dc.contributor.author Polk, James E.
dc.contributor.author Goebel, Dan M.
dc.contributor.author Watkins, Ron
dc.contributor.author Jameson, Kristina
dc.contributor.author Yoneshige, Lance
dc.contributor.author Przybylowski, JoHanna
dc.contributor.author Cho, Lauren
dc.date.accessioned 2006-08-24T19:26:53Z
dc.date.available 2006-08-24T19:26:53Z
dc.date.issued 2006-07-09
dc.identifier.citation 42nd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Sacramento, California, July 9-12, 2006 en
dc.identifier.clearanceno 06-1810
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39712
dc.description.abstract Hollow cathodes are one of the main life-limiting components in ion engines and Hall thrusters. Although state-of-the-art hollow cathodes have demonstrated up to 30,352 hours of operation in ground tests with careful handling, future missions are likely to require longer life, more margin and greater resistance to reactive contaminant gases. Three alternate hollow cathode technologies that exploit different emitter materials or geometries to address some of the limitations of state-of-the-art cathodes are being investigated. Performance measurements of impregnated tungsten-iridium dispenser cathodes at discharge currents of 4 to 15 A demonstrated that they have the same operating range and ion production efficiency as conventional tungsten dispenser cathodes. Temperature measurements indicated that tungsten-iridium cathodes also operate at the same emitter temperatures. They did not exhibit the expected reduction in work function at the current densities tested. Hollow cathodes with lanthanum hexaboride emitters operated over a wide current range, but suffered from lower ion production efficiency at currents below about 12.4 A because of higher insert heating requirements. Differences in operating voltages and ion production rates are explained with a simple model of the effect of cathode parameters on discharge behavior. en
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en
dc.format.extent 1262240 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006. en
dc.subject cathodes en
dc.subject electric propulsion en
dc.subject ion engines en
dc.title Characterization of hollow cathode performance and thermal behavior en
dc.type Preprint en


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