In order to improve the thrust performance of a 1-mN-class miniature microwave discharge ion thruster, we investigate the dependence of inner plasma properties inside the thruster on operational conditions, krypton mass flow rate, incident microwave power and magnet field strength by laser Thomson scattering (LTS) technique. With an increase in mass flow rate, the electron temperature decreases and the electron number density increases at an incident microwave power of 16 W and the number of magnets of twelve. These results indicate that there is an optimum mass flow rate, which is 0.6 sccm in this condition. The electron number density and temperature increase with incident microwave power and is saturated at 8 W for a mass flow rate of 0.4 sccm and the number of magnets of twelve. With an increase in magnetic field strength, the electron temperature and the electron density suddenly jump from 9.8×10<sup>17</sup> m<sup>-3</sup> and 5.2 eV to 1.7×10<sup>18</sup> m<sup>-3</sup> and 7.3 eV at the number of magnets of thirteen at a mass flow rate of 0.4 sccm and incident microwave power of 16 W.
|Journal||TRANSACTIONS OF THE JAPAN SOCIETY FOR AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE SCIENCES, SPACE TECHNOLOGY JAPAN|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|