Development of a Hall thruster test facility

Leach, Randolph W., author
Yalin, Azer P., advisor
Williams, John D., committee member
Menoni, Carmen S., committee member
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The present thesis details the development of a Hall thruster test facility for low power (<600 W) thrusters. The facility is based on a vacuum chamber, two standard cryogenic pumps and one modified cryogenic pump. The modified cryogenic pump is outfitted with custom built internal components, which are referred to as a cryosail. Estimation as well as measurement of pumping speeds of the two cryogenic pumps and cryosail were conducted resulting in an overall measured pumping speed of 10,500 L/s for Xenon. The ultimate base pressure of the system was 4x10-8 Torr. A SPT-70 Hall thruster was operated at various conditions and set points to include fine tuning the current to the magnets to find efficient thruster operation. Ion current densities at points downstream of the thruster's exit plane were examined by a Faraday probe. Although operation at nominal thruster operating conditions was not achieved, likely due to a problem with magnetic coils, the thruster operation did allow preliminary measurements by Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy of sputtered Boron originating from the thruster channel wall.
2012 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
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cavity ring down spectroscopy
vacuum chamber
Hall thrusters
cryogenic pump
Associated Publications