A miniature microwave plasma source employing both radial and axial magnetic fields for plasma confinement has been developed for micro-propulsion applications. Plasma is initiated by launching microwaves via a short monopole antenna to circumvent geometrical cutoff limitations. The amplitude and phase of the forward and reflected microwave power is measured to obtain the complex reflection coefficient from which the equivalent impedance of the plasma source is determined. Effect of critical plasma density condition is reflected in the measurements and provides insight into the working of the miniature plasma source. A basic impedance calculation model is developed to help in understanding the experimental observations. From experiment and theory, it is seen that the equivalent impedance magnitude is controlled by the coaxial discharge boundary conditions, and the phase is influenced primarily by the plasma immersed antenna impedance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics