Advanced-technology 30-cm-diameter mercury ion thrusterAn advanced-technology mercury ion thruster designed for operation at high thrust and high thrust-to-power ratio is described. The laboratory-model thruster employs a highly efficient discharge-chamber design that uses high-field-strength samarium-cobalt magnets arranged in a ring-cusp configuration. Ion extraction is achieved using an advanced three-grid ion-optics assembly which utilizes flexible mounts for supporting the screen, accel, and decel electrodes. Performance results are presented for operation at beam currents in the range from 1 to 5 A. The baseline specific discharge power is shown to be about 125 eV/ion, and the acceptable range of net-to-total accelerating-voltage ratio is shown to be in the range of 0.2-0.8 for beam currents in the range of 1-5 A.
Beattie, J. R. (Hughes Research Labs. Malibu, CA, United States)
Kami, S. (Hughes Research Laboratories Malibu, CA, United States)
August 11, 2013
November 1, 1982
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
AIAA PAPER 82-1910
Meeting: Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences, and DGLR, International Electric Propulsion Conference