Rotating spoke instabilities in a wall-less Hall thruster: simulations

Abstract : The low-frequency rotating plasma instability (spoke) in the ISCT200 thruster operating in the wall-less configuration was simulated with a 3 dimensional PIC MCC code. In the simulations an m = 1 spoke rotating with a velocity of 6.5 km s−1 in the E × B direction was observed. The rotating electron density structure in the spoke is accompanied by a strongly depleted region of the neutral gas, which clearly shows that the spoke instability is of an ionization nature, similar to the axial breathing mode oscillations. In the simulation the electron cross-field transport through the spoke core was caused by diffusion in the high-frequency (4–10 MHz), short-scale (3 mm) electric field oscillations. These short-scale oscillations play a crucial role in the thruster discharge as over 70% of the electron current to the anode originates from the spoke core. The rest of the current originates from the spoke front where the electron cross-field transport toward the anode is due to the E × B drift in the spoke macroscopic azimuthal electric field.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 10:39:36 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 11:40:06 AM

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K Matyash, R. Schneider, S. Mazouffre, S. Tsikata, L. Grimaud. Rotating spoke instabilities in a wall-less Hall thruster: simulations. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, IOP Publishing, 2019, 28 (4), pp.044002. ⟨10.1088/1361-6595/ab1236⟩. ⟨hal-02149140⟩

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