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Plasma beam structure diagnostics in krypton Hall thruster

  • Agnieszka Szelecka (a1), Maciej Jakubczak (a1) (a2) and Jacek Kurzyna (a1)


Krypton Large Impulse Thruster (KLIMT) project was aimed at incremental development and optimization of a 0.5 kW-class plasma Hall Effect Thruster in which, as a propellant, krypton could be used. The final thermally stable version of the thruster (the third one) was tested in the Plasma Propulsion Satellites (PlaNS) laboratory in the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion (IPPLM) in Warsaw as well as in the European Space Agency (ESA) propulsion laboratory in the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).

During final measurement campaign, a wide spectrum of parameters was tested. The plasma potential, electron temperature, electron concentration, and electron energy probability function in the far-field plume of the thruster were measured with a single cylindrical Langmuir probe. Faraday probes were used for recording local values of ion current. Using several collectors in different locations and moving them on the surface of a sphere, the angular distribution of the expelled particles was reconstructed which was a local measure of beam divergence. Angular distribution of ion flux as measured with a central Faraday probe was parameterized with krypton mass flow rate, voltage, coil current ratio, and the cathode mass flow rate. Beam divergence measurements with Faraday probes as well as plasma parameters derived from Langmuir probe seem to be consistent with our understanding of the operating envelope. Obtained results will serve as a baseline in the design of plasma beam structure diagnostics system for the PlaNS laboratory.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Agnieszka Szelecka, Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion, Hery 23 01-497 Warsaw, Poland, E-mail:


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