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Radio-Frequency Ion Thrusters—Power Measurement and Power Distribution Modeling

Volkmar, Chris and Geile, C. and Hannemann, K. (2018) Radio-Frequency Ion Thrusters—Power Measurement and Power Distribution Modeling. Journal of Propulsion and Power, 34 (4), pp. 1061-1069. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). doi: 10.2514/1.B36868. ISSN 0748-4658.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/1.B36868


We present a methodology to measure the power delivered to sustain an inductive plasma discharge inside radio-frequency ion thrusters. This measurement is performed in real time near the coil within the resonant circuit using a patented low-noise radio-frequency voltage and current sensor system. With knowledge of the actual forwarded power, the efficiency of the generator under consideration, including the power feed cable, is assessed in real time. The variation of the power-to-thrust ratio can thus be understood more clearly since its value is given by physical changes of the plasma properties as well as the quality of the impedance bridge between the generator and plasma load. The latter can directly be determined by the proposed methodology, while the influence of the plasma parameters on the power-to-thrust ratio is obtained by means of a numerical model that is used in postprocessing to assess the power distribution within the thruster.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/120608/
Document Type:Article
Title:Radio-Frequency Ion Thrusters—Power Measurement and Power Distribution Modeling
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Volkmar, ChrisUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5038-3834UNSPECIFIED
Date:19 February 2018
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Propulsion and Power
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1061-1069
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
UNSPECIFIEDAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and AstronauticsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Keywords:Radio-frequency ion thrusters, power measurement, modeling, inductively coupled plasma
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Transportation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RP - Space Transportation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Reusable Space Systems and Propulsion Technology
Location: Göttingen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute for Aerodynamics and Flow Technology > Spacecraft, GO
Deposited By: Volkmar, Dr. Chris
Deposited On:26 Jun 2018 15:00
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:18

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