Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics

Department

Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. M. Anthony Reynolds

First Committee Member

Dr. John Hughes

Second Committee Member

Dr. Bereket Berhane

Abstract

Electric propulsion engines, in particular Hall thrusters, provide the possibility of long-distance, low-cost space travel. The geometrical details of the Hall thrusters, especially the magnetic field prole, are crucial to improving their efficiency. The effect of the magnetic field structure was investigated using a simple, two-dimensional model, assuming axial symmetry. The previous one-dimensional conclusion, namely that the details of the shape of the magnetic field are unimportant, was confirmed. This result has implications for the design of future Hall thruster engines, with an eye toward maximizing their efficiency.

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