This invention provides cylindrical Hall thrusters with independently controllable ionization and acceleration stages. Decoupling the ionization and acceleration stages allows the cylindrical Hall thruster to operate with a variety of propellant gases, including those that may otherwise be difficult to ionize. Decoupling these stages also has the potential to broaden the operating envelope, improve efficiency, and result in a higher velocity exhaust for future spacecraft applications.
© 2016 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.