4.6 Article

Stationary axial model of the Hall thruster plasma discharge: electron azimuthal inertia and far plume effects


Volume 32, Issue 11, Pages -


IOP Publishing Ltd
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/ad066f


Hall-effect thruster; electric propulsion; anomalous transport; electron inertia; plasma plume

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This paper extends an existing model of Hall thruster plasma discharge by incorporating electron azimuthal inertia, a nonzero thickness cathode layer, and the far-plume region. The study evaluates the effects of these additions on thrust, electron velocities, and density. The results show that electron azimuthal inertia has a significant impact on the far plume region, but negligible effect on electron cross-field transport.
One-dimensional axial models of the plasma discharge of a Hall thruster provide a valuable picture of its physical behavior with a small computational effort. Therefore, they are very suitable for quick parametric analyses or as a support tool for analyzing the impact of modeling decisions. This paper extends a well-known drift-diffusion stationary, quasineutral model by adding electron azimuthal inertia (EAI), a nonzero thickness cathode layer, and the far-plume region where electrons demagnetize and cool down. The EAI dominates on the far plume and affects positively to thrust. For a small ion backstreaming current, EAI modifies much the electron velocities and density near the anode, but has no discernible effect on the electron cross-field transport. Electron axial inertia and azimuthal gyrovisosity are estimated. The thick cathode layer connects quasineutrally the near and far plumes but the coupling between these two regions is weak. The far plume region is sensitive to the decay length of the magnetic field, the downstream boundary conditions on the electron currents, and the stray electric currents.


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