A Capillary-Fed Annular Colloid Thruster

Adrian G. Bailey, Jorg E. Bracher, Hans J. Yon Rohden

JOURNAL OF SPACECRAFT AND ROCKETS(2012)

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摘要
The operating characteristics of a capillary-fed annular colloid thruster are presented. There is little difference in thruster performance between positive and negative thruster operation. The experimental thruster voltage/ current characteristic resembles a zener diode characteristic in that the thruster voltage only changes by 15 % over a current range of 50-400 pa. Over this operating range, the propellant mass-flow rate is practically constant. With this assumption, together with the assumption that thruster voltage is also constant over the operating range, it is shown that thrust and exhaust velocity are linear functions of the square root of operating current. It follows that a maximum thruster efficiency is approached at the highest current operating levels.
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