Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ion ejection from a permanent-magnet mini-helicon thruster

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4896238
Abstract

© 2014 AIP Publishing LLC. A small helicon source, 5 cm in diameter and 5 cm long, using a permanent magnet (PM) to create the DC magnetic field B, is investigated for its possible use as an ion spacecraft thruster. Such ambipolar thrusters do not require a separate electron source for neutralization. The discharge is placed in the far-field of the annular PM, where B is fairly uniform. The plasma is ejected into a large chamber, where the ion energy distribution is measured with a retarding-field energy analyzer. The resulting specific impulse is lower than that of Hall thrusters but can easily be increased to relevant values by applying to the endplate of the discharge a small voltage relative to spacecraft ground.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View