Analysis of electron and microwave behavior in microwave discharge neutralizer

Hirokazu Masui, Yousuke Tashiro, Naoji Yamamoto, Hideki Nakashima, Ikkoh Funaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In the MUCES-C mission conducted by JAXA (Japan Aero Exploration Agency), a microwave neutralizer is mounted with a microwave ion engine on the HAYABUSA space probe. The neutralizer consists of an L-shaped antenna to inject microwaves and samarium cobalt magnets to provide ECR (electron cyclotron resonance). Plasma production of a higher density than the cutoff density is expected in the discharge chamber, but the neutralizer is so small that high-precision measurements using a probe are difficult. To clarify the plasma production mechanism in the microwave neutralizer, numerical analysis was conducted using u code coupling PIC (particle-in-cell) method, and a FDTD (finite-difference-time-domain) method. This paper describes effects caused by varying magnetic field configuration and antenna position in the neutralizer. The calculation results show that bringing the antenna closer to the ECR region is effective for plasma production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Issue number164
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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