Hall Thruster Electron Mobility Investigation Using Full 3D Monte Carlo Trajectory Simulations


Axial electron transport represents a loss in efficiency for crossed field devices, such as Hall-effect thrusters (HETs). Previous experimental and computational investigations have revealed an anomalous axial mobility that cannot be explained with classical theory. This work describes the development of a computational model that calculates electron mobility in HETs using known electric and magnetic fields. Specifically, a full 3D Monte Carlo trajectory simulation code is developed to simulate HET internal electron dynamics. Simulations were completed using the AFRL/University of Michigan P5 HET. The magnetic field for this thruster is known from magnetostatic simulations and the electric field present during thruster operation has been experimentally measured by Haas. Comparison of the axial mobility from our code and the mobility calculated by Koo for the P5 shows agreement.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Hall Thrusters; Particle Trajectories; Hall effect; Mathematical models; Monte Carlo method

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 Electric Rocket Propulsion Society / University of Michigan, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007