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Performance, Stability, and Plume Characterization of the HERMeS Thruster with Boron Nitride Silica Composite Discharge ChannelNASA's Hall Effect Rocket with Magnetic Shielding (HERMeS) 12.5kW Technology Demonstration Unit-3 (TDU-3) has been the subject of extensive technology maturation in preparation for flight system development. Detailed performance, stability, and plume characterization tests of the thruster were performed at NASA GRC's Vacuum Facility 5 (VF-5). The TDU-3 thruster implements a magnetic topology that is identical to TDU-1. The TDU-3 boron nitride silica composite discharge channel material is different than the TDU-1 heritage boron nitride discharge channel material. Performance and stability characterization of the TDU-3 thruster was performed at discharge voltages between 300V and 600V and at discharge currents between 5A and 21.8A. The thruster performance and stability were assessed for varying magnetic field strength, cathode flow fractions between 5% and 9%, varying harness inductance, and for reverse magnet polarity. Performance characterization test results indicate that the TDU-3 thruster performance is in family with the TDU-1 levels. TDU-3's thrust efficiency of 65% and specific impulse of 2,800sec at 600V and 12.5kW exceed performance levels of SOA Hall thrusters. Thruster stability regimes were characterized with respect to the thruster discharge current oscillations (discharge current peak-to-peak and root mean square magnitudes), discharge current waveform power spectral density analysis, and maps of the current-voltage-magnetic field. Stability characterization test results indicate a stability profile similar to TDU-1. Finally, comparison of the TDU-1 and TDU-3 plume profiles found that there were negligible differences in the plasma plume characteristics between the TDU with heritage boron nitride versus the boron nitride silica composite discharge channel.
Document ID
20180000687
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Kamhawi, Hani (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Huang, Wensheng (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Gilland, James H. (Ohio Aerospace Inst. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Haag, Thomas W. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Mackey, Jonathan (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Yim, John (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Pinero, Luis (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Williams, George (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Peterson, Peter (Vantage Partners, LLC Cleveland, OH, United States)
Herman, Daniel (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
January 24, 2018
Publication Date
October 8, 2017
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
GRC-E-DAA-TN46397
IEPC-2017-392
Meeting Information
International Electric Propulsion Conference (IEPC 2017)(Atlanta, GA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 729200.06.03.05.01
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNC12BA01B
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.
Keywords
ion engines
life (durability)
hollow cathodes

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