A microwave interferometer for small and tenuous plasma density measurements

O. Tudisco, A. Lucca Fabris, C. Falcetta, L. Accatino, R. De Angelis, M. Manente, F. Ferri, M. Florean, C. Neri, C. Mazzotta, D. Pavarin, F. Pollastrone, G. Rocchi, A. Selmo, L. Tasinato, F. Trezzolani, A.A. Tuccillo

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The non-intrusive density measurement of the thin plasma produced by a mini-helicon space thruster (HPH.com project) is a challenge, due to the broad density range (between 1016m-3and 1019m-3) and the small size of the plasma source (2 cm of diameter). A microwave interferometer has been developed for this purpose. Due to the small size of plasma, the probing beam wavelength must be small (λ=4 mm), thus a very high sensitivity interferometer is required in order to observe the lower density values. A low noise digital phase detector with a phase noise of 0.02° has been used, corresponding to a density of 0.5 × 1016m-3. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033505
Pages (from-to)-
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Tudisco, O., Lucca Fabris, A., Falcetta, C., Accatino, L., De Angelis, R., Manente, M., Ferri, F., Florean, M., Neri, C., Mazzotta, C., Pavarin, D., Pollastrone, F., Rocchi, G., Selmo, A., Tasinato, L., Trezzolani, F., & Tuccillo, A. A. (2013). A microwave interferometer for small and tenuous plasma density measurements. Review of Scientific Instruments, 84(3), -. [033505]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4797470