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- An experimental investigation was initiated to establish conditioning procedures for reliable hollow cathode operation via the characterization of critical parameters in a representative cathode test facility. From vacuum pumpdown rates, it was found that approximately 1.5 hours were required to achieve pressure levels within 5 percent of the lowest attainable pressure for this facility, depending on the purge conditions. The facility atmosphere was determined by a residual gas analyzer to be composed of primarily air and water vapor. The effects of vacuum pumping and inert gas purging were evaluated. A maximum effective leakage rate of 2.0 x 10(exp -3)sccm was observed and its probable causes were examined. An extended test of a 0.64 cm diameter Mo-Re hollow cathode was successfully completed. This test ran for 504 hours at an emission current of 23.0 amperes and a xenon flow rate of 6.1 sccm. Discharge voltage rose continuously from 15 to 21 volts over the course of the test. The temperature of the cathode body during the test was relatively stable at 1160 C. Post-test examination revealed ion-bombardment texturing of the orifice plate to be the only detectable sign of wear on the hollow cathode.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19900018467.
Accession ID: 90N27783.
AIAA PAPER 90-2586.
International Electric Propulsion Conference; 18-20 Jul. 1990; Orlando, FL; United States.
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View MARC record | catkey: 15685141