Probing the plume

Measuring the properties of the plasma in the plume to determine how efficiently the Hall Thruster is operating.

Probing the plume
Image Credit: NASA/ Rami Daud, Alcyon Technical Services

Mounted on a pivoting arm in a space simulation vacuum chamber, two tests gather information from the exhaust plume of a Hall Effect Thruster that will be worked for more than 5,000 hours.

Enveloped by clear darker tape to shield it from the disintegration of the fumes, the tests are estimating the properties of the plasma in the plume to decide how effectively the Hall Thruster is working.

Hall thrusters make pushed by ionizing propellent with electrons caught in a magnetic field at the open end of the thruster and quickening the ionized charge with an electric field.

Its capacity to yield a higher push to-control proportion is a piece of why this kind of advanced solar electric propulsion will be required for future human undertakings into profound space, including to Mars.

To learn more about how we test electric propulsion technology, visit the 360˚ virtual tour of our testing facility.

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