Hall thruser

What is Hall thruser

Hall thrusters show considerable promise for satellite station keeping and orbit transfer applications, since they offer an attractive combination of high thrust efficiency, exceeding 50%, with a specific impulse range of 1,000-3,000 s and a higher ion beam density than ion thrusters, due to the existence of electrons in the ion acceleration zone. This is because a moderate magnetic field is applied in the acceleration zone, causing the magnetization of the electrons and not the ions. Several types of Hall thrusters are available, but they can be categorized into two general groups; the magnetic layer type and the anode layer type.  One example of the former type is the Russian “Stationary Plasma Thruster” (SPT). The distinguishing features of this type are continuous and extended acceleration zones for sufficient ionization and stability. It has a ceramic wall and its acceleration channel length is longer than its channel width. On the other hand, the “Thruster with Anode Layer” (TAL), which was also developed in Russia, is an example of the anode layer type. This thruster has a narrow acceleration zone for reducing the loss of ion and electron collisions with the walls. It has a conducting wall which potential are kept in a cathode potential and its acceleration channel length is shorter than its channel width. The electron temperature of this type of thruster is higher than that of the former because of the low electron energy losses to the wall.

Application of Hall thrustrer


Our goals

We have been developing Hall thruster on an experimental and theoretical program with the following goals:

1) To investigate the physics in Hall thruster in order to make it more efficient and of better performance

2) To develop the microwave discharge Hall thruster

3) Understanding the oscillation mechanism and extending the stable operational condition range.