The vastly improved durability of spacecrafts, coupled with the simultaneous continuous development of thrusters for high power output, has created a strong demand for Hall thrusters (HT) with long service lives. However, erosion of the discharge channel walls by high-energy ions is the most impactful and visible process that limits the lifetime of the thruster. This process is very sensitive to the operation mode of the thruster and the corresponding power density. We hereby present the results of our investigation on the factors that limit the lifetime of Hall thrusters, and three proven techniques for improving longevity of use including magnetic shielding (MS), wall-less technology, and aft-magnetic fields with large gradient.
Part of the book: Space Flight
Atmospheric pressure discharges are widely used in active airflow control, material synthesis, and air treatment. The key to an optimal application performance lies in how to generate stable and diffuse plasma especially in a large volume and in high-speed airflows. This chapter presents the study of repetitive nanosecond volume discharges under high-speed airflows. The volume discharge strongly depends on the airflows, and the corresponding discharge modes vary from filament to diffuse modes with addition of airflows. The role of airflows provides negative effects on discharge currents as well as discharge densities. Moreover, a type of discharge device with upstream and downstream structure is proposed to demonstrate that charged particles produced by the upstream discharge are transported to the downstream zone and play a pre-ionization and enhanced effect to the downstream discharges.
Part of the book: Plasma Science and Technology