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 1016 m-3 and 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 × 10 16 m-3. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.

A microwave interferometer for small and tenuous plasma density measurements

Tuccillo, A.A.;Rocchi, G.;Pollastrone, F.;Mazzotta, C.;Neri, C.;De Angelis, R.;Tudisco, O.
2013

Abstract

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 1016 m-3 and 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 × 10 16 m-3. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/538
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