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Investigation into the ionization and acceleration regions shift in a Hall thruster channel

  • Andrey ShashkovEmail author
  • Alexander Lovtsov
  • Dmitry Tomilin
Regular Article

Abstract

Location of the ionization and acceleration regions determines erosion belt location and thruster’s maximum throughput consequently. For Hall thrusters with wide throttle ratio the location of the ionization and acceleration regions in each operating mode could vary significantly, which makes it difficult to provide necessary throughput for multi-mode operation. In this article, the shift of the ionization and acceleration region location caused by the change of operating mode is studied with the help of numerical method. Numerical investigation was conducted with 1D3V hybrid-PIC simulations. According to the results, the ionization and acceleration regions could move upstream significantly with gas flow rate increase and magnetic field decrease. In addition, it was proved that an increase in the magnetic field gradient shifts the ionization and acceleration region location outside of the channel significantly. The trends obtained in numerical simulations were experimentally testified. The acceleration region trend validation was carried out with electrical probe measurements on a 1.5 kW laboratory Hall thruster. The ionization region shift was validated with the shift of the maximum light intensity of the xenon inside the channel of a 2.3 kW laboratory Hall thruster. Moreover, experimental investigations indicate that the ionization and acceleration regions could move significantly when oscillation mode changes.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Plasma Physics 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences / Società Italiana di Fisica / Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrey Shashkov
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alexander Lovtsov
    • 1
  • Dmitry Tomilin
    • 1
  1. 1.Keldysh Research CentreMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University)Dolgoprudny, Moscow OblastRussia

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