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A Magnetically Enhanced Inductive Discharge Chamber for Electric Propulsion Applications

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2 Author(s)
Foster, J.E. ; Dept. of Nucl. Eng. & Radiol. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Gillman, E.D.

A magnetically enhanced inductive discharge was investigated for electric propulsion applications. The high plasma density produced by the source makes it attractive as an ion source for a gridded ion thruster or possibly a standalone ambipolar thruster. The discharge plasma is produced by a compact ldquostovetoprdquo spiral antenna that is similar to that used in plasma processing sources. Operation on argon to pressures as low as 1 mtorr was demonstrated at powers ranging from 100 to 250 W. Ion current as high as 1 A was extracted from a 10-cm-diameter device. Plasma properties and ion production efficiency are reported and commented upon.

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 5 )