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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39349

Title: A theoretical analysis of vacuum arc thruster performance
Authors: Polk, James E.
Sekerak, Mike
Ziemer, John K.
Schein, Jochen
Qi, Niansheng
Binder, Robert
Anders, André
Keywords: thruster
performances
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2001
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2001.
Citation: 27th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Pasadena, California, October 15-19, 2001.
Abstract: In vacuum arc discharges the current is conducted through vapor evaporated from the cathode surface. In these devices very dense, highly ionized plasmas can be created from any metallic or conducting solid used as the cathode. This paper describes theoretical models of performance for several thruster configurations which use vacuum arc plasma sources. This analysis suggests that thrusters using vacuum arc sources can be operated efficiently with a range of propellant options that gives great flexibility in specific impulse. In addition, the efficiency of plasma production in these devices appears to be largely independent of scale because the metal vapor is ionized within a few microns of the cathode electron emission sites, so this approach is well-suited for micropropulsion
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39349
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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