Demonstrating a magnetic steering of the thrust imparted by the magnetic nozzle radiofrequency plasma thruster

Ryoji Imai, Kazunori Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Axial and horizontal components of the thrust imparted by a magnetic nozzle radio frequency plasma thruster are measured by attaching the thruster to a pendulum balance, where two horizontal solenoids are additionally mounted near the thruster exit to steer the magnetic nozzle. The thruster is operated at the rf power of 500 W in argon. The two-dimensional profiles of the ion saturation current of a Langmuir probe show the plasma plume deflected along the magnetic field lines. The measured axial thrust is about 1.6 mN for all the horizontal solenoid current, while the horizontal thrust increases from 0 to 0.2 mN when increasing the horizontal solenoid current. These results indicate that the thrust vector can be continuously changed within the angle of several degrees, demonstrating the thrust vector control by the magnetic steering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number264102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume118
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 28

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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