Design and evaluation of ion source for satellite charge control
Melvin, Michael Edward
Olsen, Richard Christopher
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This thesis describes the design of a new spacecraft charge control device that incorporates a solid ion source made of lithium or potassium salt impregnated into a porous tungsten plug. The ion source was configured with a reentrant thin-wall heat shield to reduce heat loss and an experimental thermocouple imbedded in the plug to accurately measure emission temperature. The initial design of the change control device included an extraction grid, deceleration grid, and an electron filament source. Experiments were conducted on the charge control device and results were used to modify the design of optimization of current out of the device versus power used. Incrementally testing and modifications resulted in the deceleration grid being removed and the extraction plate's wire mesh being removed to allow a clear path for the ions. With these changes the requirement of 10 microamps was achieved at 13 watts with the potassium ion source.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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