Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentKronhaus Igal
SubjectExperimental and Numerical Investigations of the Physical
Processes in a Co-Axial Magneto-Isolated
Longitudinal Anode Hall Thruster
DepartmentDepartment of Aerospace Engineering
Supervisors PROF. Benveniste Natan
DR. Alexander Kapulkin
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


The CAMILA (co-axial magneto-isolated longitudinal anode) concept was introduced to improve the efficiency and the lifetime of low-power Hall thrusters (≤ 350 W). CAMILA represents a significant departure from conventional Hall thrusters and has not been yet thoroughly studied. The high efficiency of the thruster, as validated by measurements, increases the need for better understanding of the physical processes in this type of thruster. For this aim, in the current research, both experimental and numerical methods were used to study the discharge inside the thruster channel. An analysis of the CAMILA discharge is presented, based on experimental measurements conducted in the Asher Space Research Institute. The experimental setup includes electrical probes mounted on a fast moving positioner, enabling to obtain the spatial distribution of plasma parameters inside the thruster channel. The results confirmed the basic assumptions used in the physical model of the CAMILA concept and revealed new phenomena related to the radial non-uniformity of the discharge. In particular, focusing equipotentials were discovered not only in the anode cavity, but in the dielectric channel as well, where the area of intense ionization was located. As regards the theoretical part, results are presented from a two-dimensional and fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulation, developed specificity to model the CAMILA thruster. The discharge parameters are analyzed in two magnetic configurations : simplified CAMILA with a conventional magnetic system (similar to the experiments) and full CAMILA with strengthened longitudinal component of the magnetic field. The simulated steady-state results of the simplified CAMILA are in good agreement with the experimental measurements. In full CAMILA, it was demonstrated that the ionization region can be obtained inside the anode cavity .