Discharge current oscillation at the frequency range of 10-100 kHz causes serious problems in using an anode layer type Hall thruster in space. As a new approach to the discharge stabilization, azimuthally nonuniform propellant flows were created in an acceleration channel. A plenum chamber was divided into two rooms to which xenon gas was supplied at different flow rates. As a result, stable discharge was achieved in wider operation conditions with the larger mass flow differential. The oscillation amplitude at the maximum thrust efficiency was decreased by up to 94%. In addition, thrust vector was measured and the deviation angle was found to vary with the differential flow rate and magnetic flux density.
2009 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences