Development of a miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma ion thruster for exospheric micro-propulsion

Indranuj Dey, Yuji Toyoda, Naoji Yamamoto, Hideki Nakashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma source [(discharge diameter)/(microwave cutoff diameter) < 0.3] has been developed at Kyushu University to be used as an ion thruster in micro-propulsion applications in the exosphere. The discharge source uses both radial and axial magnetostatic field confinement to facilitate electron cyclotron resonance and increase the electron dwell time in the volume, thereby enhancing plasma production efficiency. Performance of the ion thruster is studied at 3 microwave frequencies (1.2 GHz, 1.6 GHz, and 2.45 GHz), for low input powers (<15 W) and small xenon mass flow rates (<40 μg/s), by experimentally measuring the extracted ion beam current through a potential difference of ≅1200 V. The discharge geometry is found to operate most efficiently at an input microwave frequency of 1.6 GHz. At this frequency, for an input power of 8 W, and propellant (xenon) mass flow rate of 21 μg/s, 13.7 mA of ion beam current is obtained, equivalent to an calculated thrust of 0.74 mN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123505
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Volume86
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015

Fingerprint

Electron cyclotron resonance
Plasma sources
Microwave frequencies
Xenon
propulsion
electron cyclotron resonance
Ion beams
Propulsion
mass flow rate
Microwaves
Flow rate
microwave frequencies
beam currents
Plasmas
Plasma confinement
microwaves
xenon
Magnetostatics
Ions
Propellants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Development of a miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma ion thruster for exospheric micro-propulsion. / Dey, Indranuj; Toyoda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Naoji; Nakashima, Hideki.

In: Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 86, No. 12, 123505, 01.12.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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