Energy transfer to the anode of a 1 kW arcjet

Nicholas T. Tiliakos, Rodney L. Burton, Herman Krier

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A 1 kW hydrazine arcjet thruster has been modified for internal probing of the anode sheath boundary layer with an array of fourteen electrostatic micro-probes, positioned 0.25 mm into the plasma flow. Axial and azimuthal distributions of floating potential ɸf, sheath potential ɸs, electron number density nes, electron temperature Tes/ and probe current density at 0 V, j have been obtained for an arc current of 9.6 A and propellant flow rate of 50 mg/sec. The maximum current is located at x =2 mm downstream of the constrictor exit, where j= 30 A/cm2, ɸs = 8.2 V, ɸf = -14 V, nes = 5.2x1018 m-3 Tes = 13,500 'K, and electron power deposition in the sheath is 460 W/cm2. Azimuthal symmetry of the nozzle arc attachment has been verified for probes 7,7’ and 10,10'. The anode sheath potential varies from electron-attracting to electron-repelling. Comparisons between a numerical model and experimental data show good agreement in the region of maximum current density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1996
Event32nd Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1996 - Lake Buena Vista, United States
Duration: Jul 1 1996Jul 3 1996


Other32nd Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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