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Paper: Feasibility of a down-scaled HEMP-Thruster as possible N-propulsion system for LISA
Volume: 467, 9th LISA Symposium
Page: 349
Authors: Keller, A.; Köhler, P.; Gärtner, W.; Hey, F. G.; Berger, M.; Braxmaier, C.; Feili, D.; Weise, D.; Johann, U.
Abstract: An experimental feasibility study on down-scaling HEMP thrusters to N thrust levels as required e.g. for NGO is presented. Prototypes are used to probe the operation space as well as measuring the divergence angle of the plume and ion acceleration voltage by means of Faraday Cups and a Retarding Potential Analyser in order to gain a deeper understanding of the influence of design parameters. From the measured values thrust and specific impulse are calculated using simple models. Stable operation with a calculated thrust down to 70 N has been demonstrated and divergence efficiencies of about 0.5 are observed. Due to the importance of the thrust value and uncertainties of the models it is clearly desirable to measure the thrust and thrust noise directly with a thrust balance. Such a device is under construction, with a picometer noise level heterodyne interferometer as optical readout.
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