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The operation and performance of a micro-Hall thruster are characterized. The thruster is coaxial in design, with a 0.5 mm channel width and 4 mm outer diameter. The magnetic circuit includes a samarium cobalt permanent magnet generating approximately 0.7 T at the exit plane and 1 T inside the channel. Operation with a commercial hollow cathode neutralizer(More)
Preliminary results are presented for the operation of a very low power stationary plasma thruster. The thruster design is co-axial, with a 0.5 mm channel width and 4 mm outer channel diameter and is intended to be approximately 1/100 the scale of a typical 1 kW thruster. The magnetic circuit employs a permanent magnet core generating a peak magnetic field(More)
Trajectories of self-sustained laboratory ball lightning, generated by arc discharges with silicon, are investigated for understanding the possibility of buoyant flight. Extremely low apparent densities are found, nearly approaching that of standard air. The freely buoyant balls are observed to survive for about 0.1 s, with significantly buoyant balls(More)
—We present high speed images from E × B discharges in microscale magnetically confined plasmas. The images depict strong and highly ordered drift waves and underlying smaller scale turbulence near the plasma edge, with characteristic length scales larger than the electron cyclotron radius. The phase velocity of the large-scale disturbances is in agreement(More)
Direct measurements of the energy distribution of energetic neutrals incident onto the cathode of a dc glow discharge are presented. The measurements are performed by time-of-flight analysis of neutrals escaping through a cathode orifice. The experimental results are found to be in excellent agreement with Monte Carlo simulations, although the forward angle(More)
Direct measurements and Monte Carlo simulations of the energy distribution of energetic neutrals incident onto the cathode of a dc glow discharge are presented. The measurements are performed by time-of-flight analysis of neutrals escaping through a cathode orifice. The experimental results are found to be in good agreement with Monte Carlo simulations. It(More)
As development continues on the production of bismuth fueled Hall thrusters, there is a need for an accurate understanding of the nature of bismuth plasma. This includes both the ability to predict the electrical breakdown characteristics of a bismuth gas, as well as the design of tools necessary to make diagnostic measurements on a bismuth-fed electric(More)
This paper reports on measurements of the ion energy distribution (IED) at the cathode of an argon dc microdischarge using energy-resolved molecular beam mass spectrometry. The measurements are conducted at a fixed pressure-electrode separation product (pd) of 1 cm Torr with a maximum discharge pressure of 20 Torr. The measured IED is compared to the theory(More)
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