2014 Volume 9 Pages 3406025
In order to establish a completely electrodeless electric thruster, we have been studying the proposed electromagnetic acceleration methods, and estimating plasma performance using various diagnostics. Plasma thrust is the most important feature of the thruster; therefore estimation of the plasma thrust is necessary. In this study, we have developed a pendulum-target-type plasma thrust stand. Our experiment uses a Large Mirror Device and a high-power radiofrequency source (7 MHz, ∼5 kW) to produce high-density helicon plasma. The thruster uses both permanent magnets and electromagnets for generating magnetic field with a large radial component to increase electromagnetic acceleration by the proposed method of including an azimuthal current. In this paper, details of the developed thrust stand and experimental results for thrust, thrust efficiency and specific impulse are presented.