Plasma Oscillations in Hall Thrusters


E.Y. Choueiri (EPPDyL, Princeton University)

Document type:

Journal: Physics of Plasmas, 8(4): 1411-1426, April 2001.


Click here to download an electronic copy of this paper (535 kB) in Acrobat .pdf format.


The nature of oscillations in the 1 kHz-60 MHz frequency range that have been observed during operation of Hall thrusters is quantitatively discussed. Contours of various plasma parameters measured inside the accelerating channel of a typical Hall thruster are used to evaluate the various stability criteria and dispersion relations of oscillations that are suspected to occur. A band by band up-to-date overview of the oscillations is carried out with a description of their observed behavior and a discussion of their nature and dependencies through comparison of the calculated contours to reported observations. The discussion encompasses the excitation of low frequency azimuthal drift waves that can form a rotating spoke, axially propagating "transit-time" oscillations, azimuthal drift waves, ionization instability-type waves, and wave emission peculiar to weakly ionized inhomogeneous plasmas in crossed electric and magnetic fields.

Additional Keywords: