Microwave/ECR Thruster


Microwave plasma thruster utilize high density and high temperature plasma produced by 2.45 GHz microwave. Applying a magnetic field to the microwave plasma can improve the thruster performance whereby the electron cyclotron resonance mechanism led to efficient absorption of microwave energy in plasma. The electron temperature rises up and high degree of ionization resulted inside plasma. The plasma then expands into a magnetic nozzle to generate thrust.

Figure 1 (a) Scheme of the transmission line used during all the experiments. (b) Cut-view of the entire setup mounted in the EP2 large vacuum chamber facility at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (DOI: https://ep2.uc3m.es/assets/docs/pubs/conference_proceedings/inch22.pdf)

A coaxial ECR thruster under development at the plasma and space propulsion laboratory (EP2), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain is shown in figure 1. It is composed of a central circular waveguide constituting the plasma chamber fed with microwave frequency of 5.8 GHz; a radially magnetized ring magnet is responsible for the creation of the magnetic field necessary for the resonance, and a coil is used for tuning the magnetic nozzle shape and resonance position.

Talk to Us Today

Do you want to learn more about our sensors or applications? Contact us and a member of the team will get back to you