Incoherent Thomson scattering measurements of electron properties in a conventional and magnetically-shielded Hall thruster

B. Vincent, S. Tsikata and S. Mazouffre
Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 29, 035015 (2020)

Reliable measurements of electron properties are key for the validation of simulations of Hall
thrusters and similar plasma sources. In this paper, a recently-developed incoherent Thomson
scattering diagnostic is successfully applied to electron property measurement in a low-power
Hall thruster discharge. Investigations of electron properties along radial and azimuthal
directions in both conventional and magnetically-shielded architectures are performed. The high
diagnostic sensitivity gives access to electron property measurements in a plasma environment
with densities as low as 1016 m-3. Electron temperatures reaching several tens of eV and drift
velocities on the order of 106 m.s-1 are measured in the exit plane region. The impact of the
magnetic field (intensity and direction) and discharge voltage are investigated.