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Plasma Sci. Technol. ›› 2018, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (7): 075502.doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aabae0

• Plasma Technology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of low-frequency oscillation on performance of Hall thrusters

Liqiu WEI (魏立秋)1,2, Wenbo LI (李文博)1, Yongjie DING (丁永杰)1,2 and Daren YU (于达仁)1,2   


  1. 1 Lab of Plasma Propulsion, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin 150001, People’s Republic of China
    2 Lab of Electric Drive & Propulsion Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin 150001, People’s Republic of China  
  • Received:2017-12-11 Published:2018-03-26
  • Supported by:

    The authors would like to acknowledge the support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51477035 and 51777045).


In this paper, a direct connection between the discharge current amplitude and the thruster performance is established by varying solely the capacitance of the filter unit of the Hall thrusters. To be precise, the variation characteristics of ion current, propellant utilization efficiency, and divergence angle of plume at different low-frequency oscillation amplitudes are measured. The findings demonstrate that in the case of the propellant in the discharge channel just meets or falls below the full ionization condition, the increase of low-frequency oscillation amplitude can significantly enhance the ionization degree of the neutral gas in the channel and increase the thrust and anode efficiency of thruster. On the contrary, the increase in the amplitude of low-frequency oscillation will lead to increase the loss of plume divergence, therefore the thrust and anode efficiency of thruster decrease.

Key words: Hall thruster, low-frequency oscillation, performance, filter