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HG ion thruster component testingCathodes, isolators, and vaporizers are critical components in determining the performance and lifetime of mercury ion thrusters. The results of life tests of several of these components are reported. A 30-cm thruster CIV test in a bell jar has successfully accumulated over 26,000 hours. The cathode has undergone 65 restarts during the life test without requiring any appreciable increases in starting power. Recently, all restarts have been achieved with only the 44 volt keeper supply with no change required in the starting power. Another ongoing 30-cm Hg thruster cathode test has successfully passed the 10,000 hour mark. A solid-insert, 8-cm thruster cathode has accumulated over 4,000 hours of thruster operation. All starts have been achieved without the use of a high voltage ignitor. The results of this test indicate that the solid impregnated insert is a viable neutralizer cathode for the 8-cm thruster.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mantenieks, M. A.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1979
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 79-2116
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Electric Propulsion Conference
Location: Princton, NJ
Start Date: October 30, 1979
End Date: November 1, 1979
Sponsors: Princeton University, AIAA, and DGLR,
Accession Number
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