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Direct Thrust Measurement of an Electron Cyclotron Resonance Plasma Thruster

Abstract : Direct thrust measurements of an electron cyclotron resonance plasma thruster are performed with a thrust balance. The thruster performances are deduced, and the influence of power and mass-flow rate is studied. The measured thrust is around 1 mN for 50 W of microwave power input and 0.1  mg/s of xenon, corresponding to 1000 s of specific impulse and 11% of total efficiency. It is found that the thrust is increased by 25% when the walls of the plasma source are covered with a dielectric layer. Comparisons are made between the direct thrust measurements and the indirect thrust measurements obtained with electrostatic probes in the plasma beam.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 4:14:52 PM
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Théo Vialis, Julien Jarrige, Denis Packan, Ane Aanesland. Direct Thrust Measurement of an Electron Cyclotron Resonance Plasma Thruster. Journal of Propulsion and Power, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2018, pp.1-11. ⟨10.2514/1.B37036⟩. ⟨hal-01849176⟩

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