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Hall Effect Thruster Plume Contamination and Erosion StudyThe objective of the Hall effect thruster plume contamination and erosion study was to evaluate the impact of a xenon ion plume on various samples placed in the vicinity of a Hall effect thruster for a continuous 100 hour exposure. NASA Glenn Research Center was responsible for the pre- and post-test evaluation of three sample types placed around the thruster: solar cell cover glass, RTV silicone, and Kapton(R). Mass and profilometer), were used to identify the degree of deposition and/or erosion on the solar cell cover glass, RTV silicone, and Kapton@ samples. Transmittance, reflectance, solar absorptance, and room temperature emittance were used to identify the degree of performance degradation of the solar cell cover glass samples alone. Auger spectroscopy was used to identify the chemical constituents found on the surface of the exposed solar cell cover glass samples. Chemical analysis indicated some boron nitride contamination on the samples, from boron nitride insulators used in the body of the thruster. However, erosion outweighted contamination. All samples exhibited some degree of erosion. with the most erosion occurring near the centerline of the plume and the least occurring at the +/- 90 deg positions. For the solar cell cover glass samples, erosion progressed through the antireflective coating and into the microsheet glass itself. Erosion occurred in the solar cell cover glass, RTV silicone and Kapton(R) at different rates. All optical properties changed with the degree of erosion, with solar absorptance and room temperature emittance increasing with erosion. The transmittance of some samples decreased while the reflectance of some samples increased and others decreased. All results are consistent with an energetic plume of xenon ions serving as a source for erosion.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Jaworske, Donald A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2000
Subject Category
Chemistry And Materials (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:210204
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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