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Sensitivity testing of the NSTAR ion thruster

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dc.contributor.author Sengupta, Anita
dc.contributor.author Anderson, John
dc.contributor.author Brophy, John
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-23T14:41:57Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-23T14:41:57Z
dc.date.issued 2007-09-17
dc.identifier.citation International Electric Propulsion Conference, Florence, Italy, September 17-20, 2007. en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 07-2869
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/41365
dc.description.abstract During the Extended Life Test of the DS1 flight spare ion thruster, the engine was subjected to sensitvity testing in order to characterize the macroscopic dependence of discharge chamber sensitivity to a +\-3% vatiation in main flow, cathode flow and beam current, and to +\5% variation in beam and accelerator voltage, was determined for the minimum- (THO), half- (TH8) and full power (TH15) throttle levels. For each power level investigared, 16 high/low operating conditions were chosen to vary the flows, beam current, and grid voltages in in a matrix that mapped out the entire parameter space. The matrix of data generated was used to determine the partial derivative or senitivity of the dependent parameters--discharge voltage, discharge current, discharge loss, double-to-single-ion current ratio, and neutralizer-keeper voltage--to the variation in the independent parameters--main flow, cathode flow, beam current, and beam voltage. The sensititivities of each dependent parameter with respect to each independent parameter were determined using a least-square fit routine. Variation in these sensitivities with thruster runtime was recorded over the duration of the ELT, to detemine if discharge performance changed with thruster wear. Several key findings have been ascertained from the sensitivity testing. Discharge operation is most sensitve to changes in cathode flow and to a lesser degree main flow. The data also confirms that for the NSTAR configuration plasma production is limited by primary electron input due to the fixed neutral population. Key sensitivities along with their change with thruster wear (operating time) will be presented. In addition double ion content measurements with an ExB probe will also be presented to illustrate beam ion production and content sensitivity to the discharge chamber operating parameteres. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007. en_US
dc.subject Hall Thruster en_US
dc.subject electric propulsion en_US
dc.title Sensitivity testing of the NSTAR ion thruster en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US


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