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Investigation of a subsonic-arc-attachment thruster using segmented anodesTo investigate high frequency arc instabilities observed in subsonic-arc-attachment thrusters, a 3 kW, segmented-anode arcjet was designed and tested using hydrogen as the propellant. The thruster nozzle geometry was scaled from a 30 kW design previously tested in the 1960's. By observing the current to each segment and the arc voltage, it was determined that the 75-200 kHz instabilities were results of axial movements of the arc anode attachment point. The arc attachment point was fully contained in the subsonic portion of the nozzle for nearly all flow rates. The effects of isolating selected segments were investigated. In some cases, forcing the arc downstream caused the restrike to cease. Finally, decreasing the background pressure from 18 Pa to 0.05 Pa affected the pressure distribution in the nozzle, including the pressure in the subsonic arc chamber.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Berns, Darren H.
(Minnesota Univ. Minneapolis, United States)
Sankovic, John M.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Sarmiento, Charles J.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1993
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 93-1899
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA, SAE, ASME, and ASEE, Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
Location: Monterey, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: June 28, 1993
End Date: June 30, 1993
Accession Number
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