Disclosed is a new device and process for controlling azimuthal oscillations in Hall thrusters and other ExB devices. This allows for control over electron transport across the magnetic field including improving Hall thruster performance by reducing electron cross-field transport. Azimuthal oscillations degrade the efficiency of the thruster by increasing electron transport to the anode. Electromagnetic interference from plasma oscillations in the thruster can also interfere with satellite electronics. The disclosed device and process is able to suppress this oscillation, which has led to a significant decrease in the electron current to the thruster anode. This enhances the performance of the thruster because electron current to the anode reduces thruster efficiency.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
© 2016 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.