Influences of Magnetic Flux Density on Discharge Characteristics of Low-Power Hall Thruster

Weilong Guo, Jun Gao, Zuo Gu, Ning Guo

Abstract


The design of the magnetic field is crucial to the performance of the hall thruster. This paper investigates the effects of magnetic field on the discharge characteristics of the low-power hall thruster in the method of combining simulation and experiment. Based on a 40-mm-diameter hall thruster (LHT-40) operating with hundreds of Watts, a two-dimensional axisymmetric model is established in fluid method to investigate the mechanism, how the magnetic field influences the performance of the thruster, and the experiments are also carried out to investigate the performance effected by magnetic field. Both the numerical and the experimental results indicate that there is an optimal magnetic flux density in which the thruster could achieve a higher efficiency compared with other conditions. And in order to maintain its high efficiency, the line of magnetic-curve inflexion inside the discharge channel should coincide with the center line of the channel to decrease the interaction between the plasma and the wall. The LHT-40 could generate about 12.2 mN of thrust at an optimal efficiency of 27% when the maximum magnetic flux density along the center line of the channel is about 200 Gs.

Keywords


Magnetic field; Discharge characteristics; Hall thruster

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