Volume 1, 2009Progress in Propulsion Physics
|Page(s)||399 - 410|
|Section||Electric Propulsion for Spacecraft|
|Published online||16 September 2011|
Studies of a direct-current microdischarge based miniaturized plasma thruster
Presented are the results of preliminary investigations of a direct-current microdischarge based miniaturized plasma thruster called a Microdischarge Plasma Thruster (MPT). The MPT has a triode configuration consisting of electrodes made of molybdenum separated by mica dielectric with argon propellant. Several variations of the triode were studied in order to determine a configuration that provided a relatively stable configuration. The thruster can produce an intense plume with a bluish outline. Current-voltage characteristics of the thruster are reported. Preliminary spectral measurements reveal that the plume emission arises from excited ground states of argon, with no emission from argon ions detected.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2009