Nanosecond optical imaging spectroscopy of an electrothermal radiofrequency plasma thruster plume

Christine Charles, James Peter Dedrick, Rod Boswell, Deborah O'Connell, Timo Gans

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Nanosecond optical imaging spectroscopy is employed to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of the plasma plume expanding from a 4.2 mm-diameter, 20 mm-long cylindrical capacitively coupled electrothermal radiofrequency (rf) driven thruster using 10 W of power at 12.50 MHz and an argon pressure of 1.5 Torr. On-axis, the plume exhibits four distinct peaks of optical emission intensity within the rf period. The plume has a spherical shape with a transient radial extension (during half of the rf cycle) at the thruster exit plane due to an rf current to ground when the grounded electrode acts as an anode.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124103
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2013

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