Experimental investigation of magnetic gradient influence in a coaxial ECR plasma thruster

Abstract : A technology of electrical propulsion is under development at ONERA: Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) thruster. The principle is based on the resonant heating of electrons in a magnetic field by microwave power, and the ejection of a quasi-neutral plasma in a magnetic nozzle. The plume is electrically neutral, thus no neutralizer is needed, and no power supply other than the microwave supply used to create the plasma is required to accelerate the ions. The influence of the magnetic field on ion current and ion energy distribution is evaluated and the performances with different magnetic field topologies are compared.
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F. Cannat, J. Jarrige, P.-Q. Elias, D. Packan. Experimental investigation of magnetic gradient influence in a coaxial ECR plasma thruster. Space Propulsion 2014, May 2014, COLOGNE, Germany. ⟨hal-01068649⟩

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