ALFA fabrication complete
The brand-new Argon Lorentz Force Accelerator (ALFA) is done being fabricated! This thruster was designed and built by Jack Hollingsworth and Will Coogan for use in the facilities presently used by the LiLFA. This is the first magnetoplasmadynamic thruster to make use of a LaB6 orificed cathode. The performance of this thruster will be reported at the 2017 International Electric Propulsion Conference.
The dimensions of the graphite thruster electrodes are matched to those of the tungsten LiLFA. We contoured the nozzle to match the shape of the applied magnetic field. We anticipate running at power levels up to 30 kW.
Photo credit: Josh Umansky-Castro, Diagram: Will Coogan