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Hollow cathode and keeper-region plasma measurements using ultra-fast miniature scanning probes

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dc.contributor.author Goebel, Dan M.
dc.contributor.author Jameson, Kristina K.
dc.contributor.author Watkins, Ron M.
dc.contributor.author Katz, Ira
dc.date.accessioned 2006-11-28T19:26:42Z
dc.date.available 2006-11-28T19:26:42Z
dc.date.issued 2004-07-12
dc.identifier.citation 40th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, July 11-14, 2004. en
dc.identifier.clearanceno 04-2170
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39989
dc.description.abstract In order to support the development of comprehensive performance and life models for future deep space missions that will utilize ion thrusters, we have undertaken a study of the plasma structure in hollow cathodes using an new pneumatic scanning probe diagnostic. This device is designed to insert a miniature probe directly into the hollow cathode orifice from either the upstream insert region in the interior of the hollow cathode, or from the downstream keeper-plasma region at the exit of the hollow cathode, to provide complete axial profiles of the discharge plasma parameters. Previous attempts to diagnose this region with probes was Limited by the melting of small probes in the intense discharge near the orifice, or caused significant perturbation of the plasma by probes large enough to survive. Our new probe is extremely compact, and when configured as a single Langmuir probe, the ceramic tube insulator is only 0.5mm in diameter and the current collecting conductor has a total area of 0.002 cm2. A series of current-voltage characteristics are obtained by applying a rapid sawtooth voltage waveform to the probe as it is scanned by the pneumatic actuator into and out of the plasma region, The bellow-sealed pneumatic drive scans the probe 4 cm in the cathode insert region and 10 cm in the anode/keeper plasmas region at average speeds of about 1 mm/msec, and the residence time at the end of the insertion stroke in the densest part of the plasma near the orifice is measured to be only 10 msec. Since the voltage sweep time is fast compared to the motion of the probe, axial profiles of the plasma density, temperature and potential with reasonable spatial resolution are obtained. Measurements of the internal cathode pressures and the axial plasma-parameter profiles for a hollow cathode operating at discharge currents of up to 35 A in xenon will be presented. en
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en
dc.format.extent 3477464 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004. en
dc.subject ion propulsion en
dc.subject hollow cathodes en
dc.subject plasma generation en
dc.title Hollow cathode and keeper-region plasma measurements using ultra-fast miniature scanning probes en
dc.type Preprint en


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