Hall thruster microturbulence under conditions of modified electron wall emission

S. Tsikata, A. Héron and C. Honoré
Phys. Plasmas 24, 053519 (2017)

In recent numerical, theoretical, and experimental papers, the short-scale electron cyclotron drift instability (ECDI) has been studied as a possible contributor to the anomalous electron current observed in Hall thrusters. In this work, features of the instability, in the presence of a zero-electron emission material at the thruster exit plane, are analyzed using coherent Thomson scattering. Limiting the electron emission at the exit plane alters the localization of the accelerating electric field and the expected drift velocity profile, which in turn modifies the amplitude and localization of the ECDI. The resulting changes to the standard thruster operation are expected to favor an increased contribution by the ECDI to electron current. Such an operation is associated with a degradation of thruster performance and stability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *