Accession Number : ADA288697

Title :   Plume Measurments with the T5 Xenon Ion Thruster.

Corporate Author : AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS

Personal Author(s) : Pollard, James E.

PDF Url : ADA288697

Report Date : 30 SEP 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 17

Abstract : Two measurement techniques for investigating performance and life-limiting characteristics of ion engines are applied to a 10-cm T5 xenon thruster: (1) Thrust vector stability is evaluated with four double-wire Langmuir probes, aligned in the form of a cross, which are placed in the exhaust plume and are translated by a motorized positioning system to balance the currents collected along two orthogonal axes. The thrust vector position is thereby tracked with an angular resolution of <0.01 deg and a response time of <5 s. (2) A plume-sampling mass spectrometer has been developed for measuring the xenon charge state distribution and the flux of erosion products from the discharge chamber as a function of operating point. To demonstrate the capability for real-time erosion monitoring, plume spectra that reveal trace amounts of metal ions are presented.

Descriptors :   *MEASUREMENT, *PLUMES, *XENON, *THRUST VECTOR CONTROL SYSTEMS, *ION ENGINES, ANGLES, IONS, METALS, METHODOLOGY, POSITION(LOCATION), STABILITY, MONITORING, REAL TIME, FLUX(RATE), RESOLUTION, CHARGED PARTICLES, EROSION, SPECTRA, LIMITATIONS, AXES, MASS SPECTROMETERS, LANGMUIR PROBES, EXHAUST PLUMES, CHAMBERS, ORTHOGONALITY, CURRENTS.

Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion
      Inorganic Chemistry
      Rocket Engines

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE