Single- and two-photon absorption laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy in rare gases for gridded ion thruster diagnostics
Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM), Permoserstrasse 15, 04318, Leipzig, Germany
2 ArianeGroup GmbH, Postbox 1119, 74239, Lampoldshausen, Germany
Accepted: 22 February 2022
Published online: 7 March 2022
Methods based on laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy are widely used for spatially resolved non-intrusive diagnostics of atomic or molecular densities and velocity distributions in plasma applications. With regard to electric space propulsion, one focus is on the investigation of rare gases such as xenon or krypton, which are currently the favored propellants in gridded ion- and Hall-effect thrusters. For gridded ion engines, diagnostics of neutral atoms is of interest since charge-exchange processes between neutrals and ions are the main driver of accelerator grid erosion, which limits the lifetime of a gridded ion thruster. Extending the capabilities of the advanced electric propulsion diagnostics platform which has been developed by the IOM and partners, single- and two-photon absorption laser-induced fluorescence diagnostics have been set-up recently at our institute. Both experimental set-ups, and as a series of first applications, measurements of krypton neutrals in the plume of the radiofrequency ion thruster RIT-10 (ArianeGroup GmbH), and xenon neutrals within the discharge chamber of a gridded radiofrequency ion source developed at IOM, are presented.
Key words: Laser-induced fluorescence / Two-photon absorption laser-induced fluorescence / Electric propulsion diagnostics / Neutral atom diagnostics
© The Author(s) 2022
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