Greig, A.; Charles, C.; Paulin, N.; Boswell, R. W.
The temporal evolution of neutral gas temperature over the first 5 min of operation for an electrothermal radio-frequency micro-thruster with nitrogen (N2) propellant was measured using rovibrational band matching of the second positive N2 system. Three distinct periods of gas heating were identified with time constants of τ 1 = 8 × 10⁻⁵ s, τ 2 = 8 s, and τ 3 = 100 s. The fast heating (τ 1) is attributed to volumetric heating processes within the discharge driven by ion-neutral collisions. The...[Show more]
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