Ion Current Density Study of the NASA-300M and NASA-457Mv2 Hall Thrusters

Wensheng Huang, Rohit Shastry, Daniel Herman, George Soulas, Hani Kamhawi
2012 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit   unpublished
NASA Glenn Research Center is developing a Hall thruster in the 15-50 kW range to support future NASA missions. As a part of the process, the performance and plume characteristics of the NASA-300M, a 20-kW Hall thruster, and the NASA-457Mv2, a 50-kW Hall thruster, were evaluated. The collected data will be used to improve the fidelity of the JPL modeling tool, Hall2De, which will then be used to aid the design of the 15-50 kW Hall thruster. This paper gives a detailed overview of the Faraday
more » ... be portion of the plume characterization study. The Faraday probe in this study is a near-field probe swept radially at many axial locations downstream of the thruster exit plane. Threshold-based integration limits with threshold values of 1/e, 1/e 2 , and 1/e 3 times the local peak current density are tried for the purpose of ion current integration and divergence angle calculation. The NASA-300M is operated at 7 conditions and the NASA-457Mv2 at 14 conditions. These conditions span discharge voltages of 200 to 500 V and discharge power of 10 to 50 kW. The ion current density profiles of the near-field plume originating from the discharge channel are discovered to strongly resemble Gaussian distributions. A novel analysis approach involving a form of ray tracing is used to determine an effective point of origin for the nearfield plume. In the process of performing this analysis, definitive evidence is discovered that showed the near-field plume is bending towards the thruster centerline.
doi:10.2514/6.2012-3870 fatcat:qktwaef2wbd4ljalf54bpnx3dq