Characterization of the NEXT Hollow Cathode Inserts After Long-Duration Testing

Abstract: Hollow dispenser cathode inserts are a critical element of electric propulsion systems, and should therefore be well understood during long term operation to ensure reliable system performance. This work destructively investigated cathode inserts from the NEXT long-duration test which demonstrated 51,184 hours of high-voltage operation, 918 kg of propellant throughput, and 35.5 MN-s of total impulse. The characterization methods used include scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive…

Source:: nasa sti