Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation


Abstract : The SPT is a small-sized electrostatic thruster whose properties make it especially suitable for applications such as orbit transfer or satellite station-keeping. The principle of operation of this thruster is based on the creation of a non equilibrium plasma with a magnetic field perpendicularly to the discharge axis. The magnetic confinement of the electrons permits the creation of an ion beam which is used to provide the thrust. This work was carried out in the context of a French project aimed at launching of the STENTOR satellite in the year 2000 with SPT on his board. The aim of this thesis is to use numerical modelling to better understand the physical phenomena occurring in the SPT. A first aspect of this work concerned the elaboration of a Monte Carlo particle method to clarify the electron transport in the device. The electron energy distribution function is determined with this microscopic approach. A second aspect focused on the electrical characteristics (low frequency oscillations, plasma evolution) and in performances (thrust, specific impulse, efficiency) of the thruster. To this end, we developed self-consistent, transient, quasineutral models (fluid and hybrid) in one-dimension. With some simplifying hypotheses to minimise the computational time, we used these models to study the influence of the external parameters (xenon mass flow rate, applied potential, shape and magnetic field intensity) on the thruster characteristics. The results are in qualitative agreement with experimental results and with results obtained in previous modelling work.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Laurent Garrigues <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 10:30:03 AM
Last modification on : Friday, January 10, 2020 - 9:10:05 PM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 11:30:35 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00440015, version 1



Laurent Garrigues. MODELISATION D'UN PROPULSEUR A PLASMA STATIONNAIRE POUR SATELLITES. Sciences de l'ingénieur [physics]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 1998. Français. ⟨tel-00440015⟩



Record views


Files downloads