Numerical investigation of reversed gas feed configurations for Hall thrusters

Stefano Boccelli, Thierry E. Magin, Aldo Frezzotti

A reversed gas feed configuration for Hall thrusters is proposed and studied numerically. As an alternative to standard direct injection, we investigate the effect of injecting the propellant near the channel exit and directing it backwards, towards the anode. The resulting neutral density and average velocity fields are studied with the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method for both cold and warm anode conditions. The residence time of neutral particles inside the channel and in the ionization region is computed using a test-particle Monte Carlo method. The computations indicate that the reversed injection allows for increasing the mass utilization efficiency of a standard feed configuration from 2-5% to a maximum of 20-30% depending on the initial efficiency.

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