Pulsed Cathodic Arc Thruster Cathode Spot Motion
and Erosion Pattern Quantification

Pulsed Cathodic Arc Thruster Cathode Spot Motion and Erosion Pattern Quantification

P2.28


Project Leaders: Dr Patrick Neumann, Neumann Space

Participants: Neumann Space, The University of Sydney

Neumann Space is developing an electric propulsion system that uses plasma
from a solid conductive cathode as the propellant source.

Efficient propellant utilisation requires efficient cathode erosion, where the
cathode spots erode the cathode working face to produce an azimuthally smooth
pattern, while keeping the working face as close to perpendicular to the thrust
vector as possible.

This project shall determine the cathode spot motion, and associated erosion
pattern, of the arc discharge across a range of parameters, which shall help to
inform future design choices.