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Xiangbei WU, Cheng YANG, Jiawei LUO, Yan SHEN. Experimental investigation of the polarity-switching process with different bipolar ionic liquid thruster operating frequencies[J]. Plasma Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1088/2058-6272/ad18d0
Citation: Xiangbei WU, Cheng YANG, Jiawei LUO, Yan SHEN. Experimental investigation of the polarity-switching process with different bipolar ionic liquid thruster operating frequencies[J]. Plasma Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1088/2058-6272/ad18d0

Experimental investigation of the polarity-switching process with different bipolar ionic liquid thruster operating frequencies

  • The bipolar ionic liquid thruster employs ionic liquid as a propellant to discharge positively and negatively charged high-energy particles under an alternating current (AC) power source, effectively suppressing electrochemical reaction and ensuring charge neutrality. Determining an optimal AC supply power source frequency is critical for sustained stable thruster operation. This study focuses on the emission characteristics of the ionic liquid thruster under varied AC conditions. The AC power supply was set within the frequency range of 0.5–64 Hz, with eight specific frequency conditions selected for experimentation. The experimental results indicate that the thruster operates steadily within a voltage range of ±1470 to ±1920 V, with corresponding positive polarity current ranging from 0.41 to 4.91 μA and negative polarity current ranging from −0.49 to −4.10 μA. During voltage polarity switching, an emission delay occurs, manifested as a prominent peak signal caused by circuit capacitance characteristics and a minor peak signal resulting from liquid droplets. Extended emission test was conducted at 16 Hz, demonstrating approximately 1 h and 50 min of consistent emission before intermittent discharge. These findings underscore the favorable impact of AC conditions within the 8–16 Hz range on the self-neutralization capability of the ionic liquid thruster.
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