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Stationary plasma small-power thruster
Engineering Education # 10, October 2013
DOI: 10.7463/1013.0640392
In this paper results of experimental studies of integrated characteristics of a laboratory model of a stationary plasma thruster of new generation, which is α-40, calculated at the rate of total power consumption equaling 150 W were presented. Integrated parameters of this model, such as thrust, discharge current, specific impulse and efficiency obtained at test-benches of MSTU MIREA and OKB "Fakel" were almost identical. Thus, at the input power of ~150 W, voltage of 210 V, consumption of xenon of 0,7 mg/s, thrust appeared to be 9.4 мN, the anode specific impulse of thrust was equal to ~1370 s, and the anode efficiency, taking into account the power consumed by magnetic coils, equaled to 41%. Another mode with a bigger thrust (9.7 мN) but with a smaller specific impulse (1240 s) at the same input power was received at the consumption of xenon of 0.8 mg/s and voltage of 190 V. Efficiency was about 40%. The semi-angle of divergence of a plasma beam was equal to ±25 °. Predicted life expectancy was approximately 2500 hours. The data provided in the paper showed that α-40 is more efficient than any known analogues.
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