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Scaling laws and electron properties in Hall effect thrusters

Abstract : All satellites need a propulsion system for orbit correction maneuvers. Electric Hall effect thrusters are an interesting technology for space applications. The big advantage compared to chemical propulsion devices is the higher specific impulse Isp, a higher ejection speed and thus a substantial gain in terms of propellant consumption. In a Hall effect thruster the ions are created and accelerated in a low pressure discharge plasma in a magnetic field. The first part of the work concerns scaling laws for Hall effect thrusters. A semi-empirical scaling model based on analytical laws and relying on simplifying assumptions is developed. This scaling model can be used to extrapolate existing thruster technologies in order to meet new mission requirements. In a second part, the influence of the channel width on the thruster performance level is investigated. It has been demonstrated that enlarging the channel width of a low power Hall effect thruster leads to an increase in thruster efficiency. Finally, electron properties are measured by means of electrostatic probes in the plume of different Hall effect thrusters. Experimental data on electron properties is of great interest for the validation of numerical plume models that are essential for the integration of the thruster on the satellite. Time-averaged and timeresolved measurements of the electron properties have been carried out for different operating conditions of the thruster. A fast-moving probe system has been developed in order to perform measurements of the electron properties close to the thruster exit plane.
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Käthe Dannenmayer. Scaling laws and electron properties in Hall effect thrusters. Other. Université d'Orléans, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ORLE2033⟩. ⟨tel-00797732⟩

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