1997 年 45 巻 523 号 p. 444-452
A particle simulation method has been used to investigate low-density plasma with a magnetic field in electric propulsion thrusters. This method enables us to simulate plasma phenomenon caused by charge separation in the magnetic cusp. Thus, the particle model is effective to calculate ion loss to the chamber wall in cusped ion thrusters since the loss concentrates in the vicinity of magnets where the magnetic cusp is formed. In addition, calculation results show that a kind of electrostatic plasma fluctuation occurs in the acceleration channel of a Hall thruster. This fluctuation allows electrons to flow more easily to the anode across the magnetic field lines. Obtained distributions of plasma properties qualitatively agree with experimental distributions measured with Langmuir probes. As a result, it is suggested that the particle model is useful to understand plasma acceleration processes in Hall thrusters.