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Title: Magnetic shielding of the channel walls in a Hall plasma accelerator
Authors: Mikellides, Ioannis G.
Katz, Ira
Hofer, Richard R.
Goebel, Dan M.
Keywords: ion density
magnetic shielding
plasma accelerators
plasma magnetohydrodynamics
Issue Date: 8-Mar-2011
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Citation: Phys. Plasmas 18, 033501 (2011); (18 pages)
Abstract: In a qualification life test of a Hall thruster it was found that the erosion of the acceleration channel practically stopped after ∼ 5600 h. Numerical simulations using a two-dimensional axisymmetric plasma solver with a magnetic field-aligned mesh reveal that when the channel receded from its early-in-life to its steady-state configuration the following changes occurred near the wall: (1) reduction of the electric field parallel to the wall that prohibited ions from acquiring significant impact kinetic energy before entering the sheath, (2) reduction of the potential fall in the sheath that further diminished the total energy ions gained before striking the material, and (3) reduction of the ion number density that decreased the flux of ions to the wall. All these changes, found to have been induced by the magnetic field, constituted collectively an effective shielding of the walls from any significant ion bombardment. Thus, we term this process in Hall thrusters “magnetic shielding.”
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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