Minimum emission current of indium‐field emission electric propulsion thruster

Duan Junyi (School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Kang Xiaoming (School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Zhao Wansheng (School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 7 September 2010

Abstract

Purpose

Field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) thruster is a type of electric propulsion based on space‐proven indium liquid metal ion sources. The lifetime of FEEP thruster limits its application in space. A better method to improve its lifetime is the reduction of emission current. This paper aims to discuss the minimum emission current of operating FEEP thrusters.

Design/methodology/approach

In this work, theoretical models, including fluid‐flow model and ion formation model, are analyzed. Current densities of these models are discussed and the minimum emission current is calculated.

Findings

There are few equilibrium states under low emission current conditions. However, the minimum emission current is the only stable state at which the FEEP thruster can operate.

Research limitations/implications

This analysis is mainly based on the needle indium FEEP, which is compared indirectly with experiments of gallium.

Practical implications

This paper attempts to help designers choose appropriate electric parameters to improve the lifetime of FEEP.

Originality/value

By introducing and analyzing theoretical models, this paper calculates the minimum emission current for stable operation of FEEP.

Keywords

Citation

Junyi, D., Xiaoming, K. and Wansheng, Z. (2010), "Minimum emission current of indium‐field emission electric propulsion thruster", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 82 No. 5, pp. 284-287. https://doi.org/10.1108/00022661011092929

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.