Ultraviolet tomography of kink dynamics in a magnetoplasmadynamic thruster

F. Bonomo, P. Franz, G. Spizzo, L. Marrelli, P. Martin, F. Paganucci, P. Rossetti, M. Signori, M. Andrenucci, N. Pomaro

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In this paper the results of a project concerning the ultraviolet (UV) imaging of a plasma for space applications, produced in a magneto-plasmadynamic (MPD) thruster, are presented. MPD are a class of high-power electric space propulsion devices that accelerate a plasma to high velocities (>10 kms), by exploiting the Lorentz force. This force arises from the interaction between the discharge electrical current and a self induced and externally applied magnetic field. The imaging system has been realized by inserting three arrays of UV-enhanced photodiodes directly into the plastic structure of the anode. The amplifiers are miniaturized and built into the detector. This advanced diagnostic design allows for a detailed tomographic reconstruction of the emissivity spatial structure, both in the axial direction z (corresponding to a wave number n) and azimuthal direction (wave number m) with high time resolution. A magneto-hydrodynamic instability, with mode numbers m=1 and n=1 has been observed, which might affect the performances of the thruster. © 2005 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number093301
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Bonomo, F., Franz, P., Spizzo, G., Marrelli, L., Martin, P., Paganucci, F., ... Pomaro, N. (2005). Ultraviolet tomography of kink dynamics in a magnetoplasmadynamic thruster. Physics of Plasmas, 12(9), 1 - 9. [093301]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2012108