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- Tests were performed to minimize accelerator grid erosion of a 5-cm diameter Kaufman ion thruster due to direct beam impingement. Several different screen hole diameters, pillow-shape-square screen holes, and dished screen grids were tried. The optimization was accomplished by copper plating the accelerator grid before testing each grid configuration on a thruster for a 2-hour run. The thruster beam sputtered copper and molybdenum from the accelerator grid where the beam impinged. The observed erosion patterns and measured accelerator currents were used to determine how to modify the accelerator system. The lowest erosion was obtained for a 50-percent open area pillow-shape-square-aperture screen grid, dished 0.043 centimeter convex toward the accelerator grid, which was positioned with the center of the screen grid 0.084 centimeter from the accelerator grid. During this investigation the accelerator current was reduced from 120 to 55 microamperes and was also more uniformly distributed over the area of the accelerator grid.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19720020174.
Accession ID: 72N27824.
- No Copyright.
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