Electron transport and azimuthal oscillations in hall thrusters

Escobar Anton, Diego (2015). Electron transport and azimuthal oscillations in hall thrusters. Thesis (Doctoral), E.T.S.I. Aeronáuticos (UPM).


Title: Electron transport and azimuthal oscillations in hall thrusters
  • Escobar Anton, Diego
  • Ahedo Galilea, Eduardo
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: 2015
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Aeronáuticos (UPM)
Department: Fundamentos Matemáticos de la Tecnología Aeronáutica [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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The Hall Effect Thruster (HET) is a type of satellite electric propulsion device initially developed in the 1960’s independently by USA and the former USSR. The development continued in the shadow during the 1970’s in the Soviet Union to reach a mature status from the technological point of view in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s the advanced state of this Russian technology became known in western countries, which rapidly restarted the analysis and development of modern Hall thrusters. Currently, there are several companies in USA, Russia and Europe manufacturing Hall thrusters for operational use. The main applications of these thrusters are low-thrust propulsion of interplanetary probes, orbital raising of satellites and stationkeeping of geostationary satellites. However, despite the well proven in-flight experience, the physics of the Hall Thruster are not completely understood yet. Over the last two decades large efforts have been dedicated to the understanding of the physics of Hall Effect thrusters. However, the so-called anomalous diffusion, short name for an excessive electron conductivity along the thruster, is not yet fully understood as it cannot be explained with classical collisional theories. One commonly accepted explanation is the existence of azimuthal oscillations with correlated plasma density and electric field fluctuations. In fact, there is experimental evidence of the presence of an azimuthal oscillation in the low frequency range (a few kHz). This oscillation, usually called spoke, was first detected empirically by Janes and Lowder in the 1960s. More recently several experiments have shown the existence of this type of oscillation in various modern Hall thrusters. Given the frequency range, it is likely that the ionization is the cause of the spoke oscillation, like for the breathing mode oscillation. In the high frequency range (a few MHz), electron-drift azimuthal oscillations have been detected in recent experiments, in line with the oscillations measured by Esipchuk and Tilinin in the 1970’s. Even though these low and high frequency azimuthal oscillations have been known for quite some time already, the physics behind them are not yet clear and their possible relation with the anomalous diffusion process remains an unknown. This work aims at analysing from a theoretical point of view and via computer simulations the possible relation between the azimuthal oscillations and the anomalous electron transport in HET. In order to achieve this main objective, two approaches are considered: local linear stability analyses and global linear stability analyses. The use of local linear stability analyses shall allow identifying the dominant terms in the promotion of the oscillations. However, these analyses do not take into account properly the axial variation of the plasma properties along the thruster. On the other hand, global linear stability analyses do account for these axial variations and shall allow determining how the azimuthal oscillations are promoted and their possible relation with the electron transport.

More information

Item ID: 38245
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/38245/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:38245
Deposited by: Archivo Digital UPM 2
Deposited on: 28 Oct 2015 09:36
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 22:56
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