2016 Volume 14 Issue ists30 Pages Pb_141-Pb_147
A miniature microwave discharge plasma thruster for micro satellites is under development, with the target power consumption, thrust and specific impulse of 10 W, 1 mN and 1000 sec, respectively. Thrust was estimated from the measured ion beam current and ion energy distribution function using an ion collector and a retarding potential analyzer. Several parameters, including antenna configuration, length of the discharge chamber and configuration, were optimized for the improvement of the thrust performance. The overall thrust was estimated to be 82 μN at the incident microwave power of 10 W and the mass flow rate of 82 μg/sec.