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Electron properties of an emissive cathode: analysis with incoherent Thomson scattering, fluid simulations and Langmuir probe measurements

Abstract : Emissive cathodes serve a key function as the electron source for Hall plasma thrusters. Development of reliable numerical models for their operation and information on plasma behavior requires the use of sensitive and accurate diagnostics. This paper discusses results from a combined experimental and numerical study of the plasma regimes and properties of a 5 A LaB 6 pellet emitter cathode. Electron properties across a range of currents (2-16 A) are determined for the first time using incoherent Thomson scattering. A 2D axisymmetric fluid code is adapted to the study of the electron properties of this cathode and the nature of regime transitions. Similar trends in the numerical and experimental results are found, such as transitions to plume-like behavior with increasing current; quantitative agreement would require the use of a combined thermal-plasma model for the cathode under study. Comparisons of results from non-invasive Thomson scattering to Langmuir probe measurements reveal limitations of the latter diagnostic for plasma characterization.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02864028
Contributor : Benjamin Vincent <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 23, 2020 - 9:45:17 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 3:41:11 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 6:30:20 PM

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Benjamin Vincent, Sedina Tsikata, George-Cristian Potrivitu, Laurent Garrigues, Gaétan Sary, et al.. Electron properties of an emissive cathode: analysis with incoherent Thomson scattering, fluid simulations and Langmuir probe measurements. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, IOP Publishing, 2020, 53, pp.415202. ⟨10.1088/1361-6463/ab9974⟩. ⟨hal-02864028⟩

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