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The single stage thruster geometry tested by Masuyama & Barrett [29, 30] consisted of a 32 AWG (0.202mm diameter) tinned copper wire emitter electrode and
a 0.635cm diameter 6061 aluminum tube collector electrode (see figure 1-1). Both
electrodes were 40 cm long. The d = 1 cm electrode spacing is investigated here first
using the experimentally determined current-voltage characteristic in the homogeneous boundary condition equation (3.28) and then using the smoothed charge injection model given by equation (3.30). In this case the parallel wire coefficients from
table 1.1 are more appropriate for equation (1.3); the critical electric field strength is
Eo e-~ 12 1. 1 kV/cm.
Figure 3-3: Dual stage thruster geometry.
Figure 3-3 illustrates the dual stage thruster geometry tested by Masuyama
Barrett [29, 30]. The intermediate electrode is a single strand 4 AWG (5.189 mm
diameter) solid copper wire. The emitter electrode and collector electrode are the
same as the single stage case. The electrode spacings di = 1 cm and d 2
3 cm are
investigated in the present work. The applied voltage V2 is maintained at 20 kV while
V1 is varied.