Inductively Coupled Plasma Source for Electric Propulsion Applications

Benefits of planar compact antenna ICP are compelling:

  • Investigate operation envelope of a 10 cm ICP discharge with magnetic enhancement as a function of pressure and power
    • Plasma density and temperature
    • Extractable ion current
    • Estimated discharge efficiency
  • End goal to determine if performance is in “ball park” of comparable DC sources and the RIT 10

Magnetic enhancement gave rise to significant increase in density –

Currents up to 1 A attained at projected losses of ~250 W/A on argon –

Considerable performance boost expected with xenon –

Stand alone ion thruster based on magnetically enhanced ICP results being developed –

An example diagram