A Planar Hall Thruster for Investigating Electron Mobility in ExB Devices


Stable operation of a Hall thruster that emits and collects the Hall current across a planar discharge channel is describe d. The planar Hall thruster (PHT) is being investigated for use as a test bed to study electron mobility in ExB devices. The planar geometry attempts to de-couple the complex electron motion found in annular thrusters by using simplified geometry. During this initial test, the PHT was operated at discharge voltages between 50-150 V to verify operability y and stability of the device. Hall current was emitted by hollow cathode electron sources and collected by electrodes on the opposing wall of the thruster. Internal channel wall probes along with a downstream Faraday probe and retarding potential analyzer measured change s in thruster plasma as the Hall current, discharge voltage, magnetic field, and mass flow rates were changed. Results show that most of the plume ions are created in the acceleration zone. Further, increasing the magnetic field confines electrons to the Hall-drift region. This causes the Hall current to increase and the discharge current to decrease. Future experiments with this thruster are being planned to shed light on electron mobility in both planar and annular ExB geometry.

Meeting Name

30th International Electric Propulsion Conference, IEPC 2007 (2007: Sep. 17-20, Florence, Italy)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2007 Electric Rocket Propulsion Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

20 Sep 2007

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