Numerical analysis of radio frequency inductively coupled ion thruster and computation of its performance parameters

Bozkurt, Erdal
The main goal of this thesis is geometric and parametric analysis of a simulated cylin-drical two-gridded Radio Frequency Inductively Coupled (RF-ICP) ion thruster. Inaddition, instrumental performance of this thruster and the effects of a fixed shapeof the electrodes on ion trajectories are investigated. The simulations of the plasmaand the ion optics are performed by using COMSOL Multiphysics software. The firststep is checking the reliability of the software. Radial and axial simulation parametricresults of chosen experimental geometry are compared with the results of the exper-iment. After this validation, the coil turn, the anode electrical potential, the plasmachamber geometry, the coil RF electrical frequency, and finally, the coil location uponplasma chamber are changed, and the results are discussed.The next step is focusing on the performance parameters that are thrust and specificimpulse. For this purpose, Bohm ion velocity and the ion density at the sheath edgeare determined to calculate the current density for the geometry (AR= 2, CT=3). At last, ion optic system of the RF-ICP thruster is analyzed. Perveance and ion trajectories of the thruster are studied. The optimum perveance is found as1.09486×10−6A/V3/2for9.49mAChild current. Also, the effects of specified boundarywhich ions are released are investigated to the trajectories of the ions.