Effect of density inhomogeneity in azimuth on discharge oscillation suppression and electron diffusion in hall thrusters

Junhwi Bak, Rei Kawashima, Kimiya Komurasaki, Hiroyuki Koizumi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Azimuthal non-uniform propellant supply operation shows representative characteristics of suppressed discharge oscillation and increased axial electron current. These characteristics implicate that, with non-uniform operation, physics underlying oscillation and electron transport in Hall thrusters may be able to be studied in a spatiotemporally less strict experimental setup. From this insight, we investigated azimuthal plasma properties of non-uniform propellant operation and its influences on discharge oscillation and electron cross-field transport. The image analysis result reveals non-linear plasma structures elongated in direction of electron azimuthal E × B drift, showing the structure is governed by electrons. From probe measurements, inhomogeneous electron temperature distribution in azimuth direction is observed, and corresponding azimuthal inharmonic ionization is thought to partially contributes to the suppressed discharge oscillation. Also, macroscopic zeroth order azimuthal distribution of plasma potential and electron density shows the distribution is self-consistently generated in a way to enhance electron cross-field drift towards the anode. We estimated amount of current carried by equilibrium zeroth order distribution, which accounts for about 20% of total increased electron current in the non-uniform operation. The physical similarities of the macroscopic transport to microscopic instability induced electron transport are also compared.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 Joint Propulsion Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105708
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event54th AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2018 - Cincinnati, United States
Duration: 2018 Jul 92018 Jul 11

Publication series

Name2018 Joint Propulsion Conference


Conference54th AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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