Discharge current oscillation in Hall thrusters

Naoji Yamamoto, Kimiya Komurasaki, Yoshihiro Arakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The discharge current oscillation at a frequency range of 10-100 kHz in Hall thrusters was investigated with the objective of extending their stable operational range. The amplitude of oscillation was measured using two types of Hall thrusters - the anode layer type and the magnetic layer type. The oscillation amplitude was found to be sensitive to the applied magnetic flux density, and this result indicated that the oscillation was affected by electron mobility. An oscillation model was proposed based on the experimental results, and the predicted frequency and stable operational range were found to agree qualitatively agreed with the experimental results. This model shows that the momentum transfer corresponding to plasma fluctuation, that is, the viscosity effect, is crucial to achieving stability. Thus, the oscillation amplitude for various acceleration channel configurations - divergent, parallel, and convergent - was measured because the momentum transfer could be affected by the channel configuration. The stable operational range was successfully extended by the adoption of the convergent configuration in each type of Hall thruster, as shown by this model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-876
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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