EP1269803B1 - Plasma accelerator arrangement - Google Patents

Plasma accelerator arrangement Download PDF

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Publication number
EP1269803B1
EP1269803B1 EP20010933575 EP01933575A EP1269803B1 EP 1269803 B1 EP1269803 B1 EP 1269803B1 EP 20010933575 EP20010933575 EP 20010933575 EP 01933575 A EP01933575 A EP 01933575A EP 1269803 B1 EP1269803 B1 EP 1269803B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
arrangement
plasma
magnet
plasma chamber
electrode
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EP20010933575
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German (de)
French (fr)
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EP1269803A2 (en
Inventor
Günter KORNFELD
Werner Schwertfeger
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Thales Electron Devices GmbH
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Thales Electron Devices GmbH
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Priority to DE2000114034 priority Critical patent/DE10014034C2/en
Priority to DE10014034 priority
Application filed by Thales Electron Devices GmbH filed Critical Thales Electron Devices GmbH
Priority to PCT/DE2001/001105 priority patent/WO2001072093A2/en
Publication of EP1269803A2 publication Critical patent/EP1269803A2/en
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F03MACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS; WIND, SPRING, OR WEIGHT MOTORS; PRODUCING MECHANICAL POWER OR A REACTIVE PROPULSIVE THRUST, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03HPRODUCING A REACTIVE PROPULSIVE THRUST, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03H1/00Using plasma to produce a reactive propulsive thrust
    • F03H1/0037Electrostatic ion thrusters
    • F03H1/0062Electrostatic ion thrusters grid-less with an applied magnetic field
    • F03H1/0075Electrostatic ion thrusters grid-less with an applied magnetic field with an annular channel; Hall-effect thrusters with closed electron drift
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05HPLASMA TECHNIQUE; PRODUCTION OF ACCELERATED ELECTRICALLY-CHARGED PARTICLES OR OF NEUTRONS; PRODUCTION OR ACCELERATION OF NEUTRAL MOLECULAR OR ATOMIC BEAMS
    • H05H1/00Generating plasma; Handling plasma
    • H05H1/54Plasma accelerators

Abstract

The invention relates to a plasma accelerator arrangement with a directed electron beam which is introduced into a plasma chamber. According to the invention, the chamber has a ring-shaped structure and the electron beam has a hollow cylindrical shape. A beam-guiding magnet system and optionally, an electrode system, is preferably configured with multiple levels in an adapted toroidal shape.

Description

  • The invention relates to a plasma accelerator assembly having a plasma chamber about a longitudinal axis, with an electrode assembly for generating an electric acceleration field for positively charged ions over an acceleration path parallel to the longitudinal axis and means for introducing a collimated electron beam in the plasma chamber and its guidance by a magnet system.
  • The US 5,359,258 A shows a plasma accelerator arrangement in the form of a so-called Hall thruster with an annular acceleration chamber and a substantially radial magnetic field through the plasma chamber. Anode and anode-stage part of the plasma chamber are magnetically shielded. A gas is introduced into the longitudinally unilaterally open plasma chamber, which is ionized by electrons moved from a cathode outside the plasma chamber to an anode at the foot of the plasma chamber and accelerated and expelled away from the anode. The radial magnetic field forces the electrons on closed circular orbits around the longitudinal axis of the arrangement and thus increases their residence time and probability of collision in the plasma chamber.
  • At one off JP 55-102 162 A known ion source in which an annular anode encloses a permanent magnet and in turn is surrounded by a circular cylindrical cathode, an ionic hollow jet is ejected from an annular opening.
  • An arrangement for generating high kinetic energy ions of the order of 10 GeV for phisical experiments is known from US Pat US 36 26 305 known. Here, outside a ring-shaped vacuum chamber, a ring current of low-energy electrons with z. B. 10 MeV generated and injected into the compression chamber. By ionization, a small number of positive ions, which are small compared to the number of ring electrons, are generated from a short-time pulsed gas, which are trapped in the potential head generated by the electron ring. By a strong, briefly pulsed magnetic field, the electrons circulating in the ring are accelerated to a ring current of z. B. 50 kA. The high magnetic field connected to the ring current of the high-energy electrons parallel to the ring axis interacts with a magnetic field generated in the vacuum chamber by inner and outer coils, so that the ring current is accelerated in the axial direction. The ions trapped in the potential well of the compressed electron ring system are carried axially with the ring current and thereby accelerated to high kinetic energy.
  • In the US 3,613,370 a plasma accelerator is described in which an annular plasma chamber is penetrated by a substantially radially directed magnetic field. Through lateral openings of the inner wall of the plasma chamber, electrons are conducted from a central cathode into the plasma chamber
  • The GB 2 295 485 A shows an arrangement for generating an accelerated plasma jet, in which in a cylindrical plasma chamber from a central cathode emitted electrons are accelerated in the direction of a ring anode. A magnetic field serves to extend the residence time of the electrons in the plasma chamber to improve the ionization efficiency.
  • The US 4,434,130 describes the guidance of two oppositely directed accelerated ion beams of a fusion reactor by the space charge effect of hollow cylindrical guided electrons. The guidance of the electrons moving on spiral paths takes place in the balance of forces between radially directed electrostatic fields and centrifugal forces. The ion beams supplied from both sides in the axial direction collide with high energy in the fusion region, whereas the electron beam supplied on one side under conical compression is widened and removed again at the other end.
  • From the DE 198 28 704 A1 is a plasma accelerator arrangement with a plasma chamber about a longitudinal axis, with an electrode assembly and a magnet system and means for introducing an electron beam into the plasma chamber known.
  • In this known arrangement, a circular cylindrical plasma chamber is provided, in which a generated by a beam generating device, sharply focused electron beam along the cylinder axis is initiated. The electron beam is guided along the cylinder axis by a magnet system, which can be characterized in particular by alternating polarity of successive sections. The electrons of the electron beam introduced at high speed into the plasma chamber pass through an electrical potential difference along the longitudinal axis of the plasma chamber which acts in a braking manner on the electrons of the electron beam. The plasma chamber is an ionizable gas, in particular supplied to a noble gas, which is ionized by the electrons of the introduced electron beam and by secondary electrons. The resulting positive ions are accelerated along the longitudinal axis of the plasma chamber by the potential difference and move in the same direction as the introduced electron beam. The ions are also guided bundled along the longitudinal axis by the magnet arrangement and by space charge effects and emerge together with part of the electrons of the electron beam at the end of the plasma chamber in the form of a neutral plasma beam.
  • The present invention has for its object to provide such a plasma accelerator arrangement with good efficiency, as defined in claim 1.
  • According to the present invention, the electron beam is not introduced as a sharply focused beam into a circular cylindrical plasma chamber, but it will, for. B. generated via an annular cathode surface, a cylindrical hollow beam, which is introduced into a toroidal plasma chamber. The plasma chamber is bounded radially by an outer chamber wall and an inner chamber wall, and the hollow beam with a wall thickness small in relation to the radius of the hollow cylinder is fed between these walls and passed through a magnet system. The entire arrangement is preferably at least approximately rotationally symmetrical or at least rotationally symmetrical about a longitudinal axis of the arrangement. The magnet system likewise preferably has a double toroidal structure with a first magnet arrangement located radially outside the plasma chamber and a second inside magnet arrangement.
  • As in the case of the known arrangement, the arrangement according to the invention preferably also contains at least one intermediate electrode in the longitudinal direction of the plasma chamber, the intermediate electrode lying at an intermediate potential of the potential difference along the longitudinal direction of the plasma chamber. The subdivision into several intermediate potentials allows a significant improvement in the efficiency by trapping low-kinetics electrons on an intermediate electrode with a small potential difference compared to the actual potential of an electron. The efficiency increases monotonically with the number of intermediate potential stages.
  • The magnet system is designed in several stages with a plurality of successive subsystems in the longitudinal direction, each of which has an outer and an inner magnet arrangement and in which the longitudinally successive subsystems are alternately oriented in opposite directions.
  • Particularly favorable is a plasma accelerator arrangement according to the invention, wherein in the longitudinal course of the plasma chamber in the region of the side walls of the plasma chamber at least one intermediate electrode arrangement is present, which at an intermediate potential of the potential difference to accelerate the positive ions or delay of the introduced electron beam is located. On such an intermediate electrode electrons can be captured, which have only a low kinetic energy. The potential difference between cathode and anode can thereby be divided into two or more acceleration potentials. Losses caused by the introduced electron beam against accelerated electrons can thereby be substantially reduced. In particular, the electrical efficiency increases monotonically with the number of potential levels. Advantageously, the electrodes are placed in the longitudinal direction in each case between the pole ends of a magnet system or magnet subsystem. This results in a particularly favorable course of electric and magnetic fields.
  • The invention is explained in more detail below with reference to the figures with reference to preferred embodiments with reference to the figures. Showing:
    • Fig. 1 a sectional view of a side view
    • Fig. 2 a view in the direction of the longitudinal axis
    • Fig. 3 a stage of a magnet arrangement
    • Fig. 4 a plasma distribution in a multi-stage arrangement
  • In plasma physics it is known that due to the high mobility of the electrons due to their low mass compared to the mostly positively charged ions, the plasma behaves similar to a metallic conductor and assumes a constant potential.
  • However, if a plasma is located between two electrodes of different potential, the plasma approximately assumes the potential of the electrode with the higher potential (anode) for the positive ions because the electrons move very fast to the anode until the potential is reached of the plasma is at the approximately constant potential of the anode and the plasma is thus field-free. Only in a comparatively thin boundary layer at the cathode, the potential falls steeply in the so-called cathode case.
  • In a plasma, therefore, different potentials can only be maintained if the conductivity of the plasma is not isotropic. An advantageous strong anisotropy of the conductivity can be produced in a favorable manner in the arrangement according to the invention. Since electrons experience a force perpendicular to the magnetic field lines and perpendicular to the movement direction as a result of the Lorentz force when moving transversely to magnetic field lines, electrons can be easily displaced in the direction of the magnetic field lines, ie there is a high electrical conductivity and a potential difference in the direction of the magnetic field lines Direction is easily compensated. An acceleration of the electrons by an electric field component perpendicular to the magnetic field lines counteracts said Lorentz force, so that the electrons move in a spiral around the magnetic field lines. Accordingly, perpendicular to the magnetic field lines electric fields can exist without immediate compensation by electron flow. For the stability of such electrical Fields, it is particularly advantageous if the associated electrical equipotential surfaces are approximately parallel to the magnetic field lines and thus electrical and magnetic fields are substantially crossed.
  • The Fig. 1 shows a multi-stage arrangement according to the present invention, in which a substantially toroidal about a longitudinal axis LA as the axis of symmetry plasma chamber whose shape is accessible to variations, a hollow cylindrical electron beam ES is supplied, the cylinder axis coincides with the longitudinal axis LA and the beam wall thickness DS ( Fig. 2 ) is small against the radius RS of the hollow cylindrical beam shape. Such a hollow beam can be generated for example by means of an annular cathode and a matched beam system. The electrons of the electron beam have a kinetic energy of typically> 1 keV when entering the plasma chamber. The annular plasma chamber PK is bounded laterally by an inner wall WI and an outer wall WA.
  • Essential in the arrangement after Fig. 1 is that the magnet system no longer has a single ring about the longitudinal axis LA, but that with respect to the plasma chamber outside a magnet assembly RMA is present, which has spaced apart both opposite magnetic poles in the longitudinal direction LR. In the same way with respect to the plasma chamber radially inner further magnetic order RMI is provided, which in turn has both magnetic poles in the longitudinal direction LR spaced.
  • The two magnet arrangements RMA and RMI are radially opposite each other in the longitudinal direction LR substantially the same extent. The two magnet arrangements are aligned with the same orientation, ie in the longitudinal direction LR of the same pole sequence. As a result, the same poles (NN or SS) are radially opposite and the magnetic fields are for each of the two magnet arrangements closed in itself. The course of the magnetic fields of radially opposing magnet arrangements RMA and RMI can thereby be considered separated by a central area located substantially in the middle of the plasma chamber. The magnetic field lines B are curved between the magnetic poles of each array without passing through this center area, which is not necessarily flat. On each radial side of such a central surface thus acts essentially only the magnetic field of one of the two magnet arrangements RMA or RMI.
  • The above explanations also apply to a magnet system with only a simple inner and outer magnet arrangement. Such a magnet arrangement can be formed, for example, by two concentric annular permanent magnets with poles spaced substantially parallel to the axis of symmetry LA. Such an arrangement is isolated in Fig. 3 outlined.
  • The invention provides, in the longitudinal direction LR two or more such arrangements to be arranged one behind the other, the Polausrichtung successive magnet arrangements as in the aforementioned known arrangement is in opposite directions, so that the longitudinally opposite poles of successive magnet assemblies are similar and thus no magnetic field short circuit occurs and the field characteristics described for the single-stage execution are essentially preserved for all successive stages.
  • The successive magnetic fields act on the one hand focused on the introduced into the plasma chamber primary electron beam and prevent the other to the outflow of secondary electrons generated in the plasma chamber from one level to the next. An ion barrier IB prevents the passage of ions to the cathode KA.
  • A plasma accelerator arrangement is preferred in which at least one further intermediate electrode, which lies at an intermediate potential of the potential gradient, is provided in the longitudinal course of the plasma chamber. Such an intermediate electrode is advantageously arranged on at least one side wall, preferably in the form of two partial electrodes opposite to the inner and outer side wall of the plasma chamber. It is particularly advantageous to position the electrode in its longitudinal position between two magnetic poles. In the arrangement according to Fig. 1 are provided in the longitudinal direction of several stages S0, S1, S2, each with a magnetic subsystem and in each case an electrode system. The magnetic subsystems each consist of an inner RMI and an outer RMA magnet ring as in Fig. 3 outlined. The sub-electrode systems comprise, in the successive stages S0, S1, S2, respectively an outer electrode ring AA0, AA1, AA2 and radially opposite an inner electrode ring AI0, AI1, AI2, wherein the extension of the electrodes in the longitudinal direction for the outer and inner rings substantially equal is. The opposing electrode rings of each subsystem, ie AA0 and AI0 or AA1 and AI1 or AA2 and AI2 are each at the same potential, in particular the electrodes AA0 and AI0 can be at ground potential of the entire arrangement. The inner and outer electrodes AA0, AA1,... As well as the poles of the magnet arrangements can also be integrated into the outer or inner wall.
  • The electric fields generated by the electrodes extend in areas essential for the formation of the plasma approximately perpendicular to the magnetic field lines. Especially in the area of the largest electrical Potential gradients between the electrodes of successive stages, the magnetic and electric field lines are substantially crossed so that the secondary electrons generated along the trajectory of the focused primary electrons, including fully decelerated primary electrons, can not cause a direct short circuit of the electrodes. Since the secondary electrons can only move along the magnetic field lines of the essentially toroidal multistage magnet system, the plasma jet generated remains essentially limited to the cylindrical layer volume of the primary electrons focused. Bulges of the plasma exist essentially only in the region of the change of sign of the axial magnetic field component, where the magnetic field is substantially radial to the poles of the magnetic arrangements. The working gas AG supplied to the plasma chamber, in particular xenon, is ionized by the primary electrons and in particular the secondary electrons. The accelerated ions are ejected together with decelerated primary electrons of the introduced electron beam as a neutral plasma beam PB.
  • In the sketched arrangement, plasma concentrations in the longitudinal direction result in positions between successive electrodes, which at the same time coincide with the poles of the successive magnet arrangements. With the in Fig. 1 sketched arrangement can advantageously be placed in the individual successive stages on the stepwise different potentials of the successive electrodes, the plasma. For this purpose, in particular, the electrodes and the magnet assemblies are arranged in the longitudinal direction so that the spatial phase positions of the quasi-periodic magnetic field compared to the equally quasiperiodic electric field measured between absolute minimum of the magnetic axial field and the center of the electrodes by max. +/- 45 ° especially max. +/- 15 ° are shifted. Here, a contact of the magnetic field lines with the at Side wall of the plasma chamber arranged electrode and achieved by the easy displacement of the electrons along the magnetic field lines, the plasma potential can be set to the electrode potential of this stage. The plasma concentrations at different successive stages are thus at different potentials.
  • The location of the largest potential gradient in the axial direction thus lies in a plasma layer which is characterized by the radial magnetic field characteristics which act in an electrically insulating manner in the axial direction. At these points, the acceleration of the positive ions is substantially in the direction of the accelerating in the longitudinal direction of the electric field. Since there are enough secondary electrons circulating as Hall currents on closed drift paths in the toroidal structure, a substantially neutral plasma is accelerated in the longitudinal direction toward the ejection opening of the plasma chamber. Here, in a layer plane at a certain position in the longitudinal direction LR of the arrangement in different radii opposite annular Hall currents II and IA to the longitudinal axis LA as in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 outlined.
  • The said favorable phase shift of the quasi-periodic magnetic and electrical structures can be determined by an arrangement according to Fig. 2 with the specified permissible shift by max. +/- 45 °, in particular max. Reach +/- 15 °. An alternative variant is in Fig. 4 outlines where the period length of the longitudinally spaced electrode stages AL i , AI i + 1 is twice as large as the period length of successive magnetic ring arrangements. Such an arrangement can also be compared with in stages Fig. 1 be divided twice length, which then each contain two opposing magnet subsystems and an electrode system.
  • At the in Fig. 4 sketched arrangement arise in areas where the electrodes bridge the poles of successive magnet subsystems, contact zones at which the magnetic lines following secondary electrons are absorbed by the electrodes and thus a contact zone KZ between the plasma and an electrode is formed, whereas at poles, which at the same time lie between two longitudinally successive electrodes, an isolation zone IZ with a high potential gradient is formed in the plasma.
  • In another embodiment, opposing outer magnetic ring and inner magnetic ring of the magnetic system or a magnetic subsystem can also be provided with opposite polarity orientation, so that in a Fig. 1 corresponding longitudinal section through the arrangement at each stage results in a magnetic quadrupole field. The lying in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal direction currents IA, II are then in the same direction. The other described measures according to the invention are applicable in such an arrangement in a corresponding manner.
  • The features indicated above and in the claims can be implemented advantageously both individually and in various combinations. The invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiments described, but can be modified in many ways within the scope of expert knowledge. In particular, a strict symmetry about the axis of symmetry LA is not necessarily required. Rather, a targeted asymmetry can be superimposed on the symmetrical course: The ring shape of fields, electrodes or magnet arrangements does not necessarily mean a circular cylindrical shape, but can deviate from one in terms of both the rotational symmetry and the cylindrical course in the longitudinal direction.

Claims (4)

  1. Plasma accelerator arrangement with a plasma chamber (PK) around a longitudinal axis (LA), with means for ionization of a work gas (AG) which is supplied to the plasma chamber and for generating a plasma beam (PB), with an electrode arrangement (KA, AA0,...; AI0, ...) for producing an electric potential difference as the acceleration field for positively charged ions over an acceleration distance parallel to the longitudinal axis and with means for feeding a bundled electron beam (ES) into the plasma chamber and guiding it through a magnet system (RMA, RMI), characterized in that the plasma chamber is designed in the shape of a ring around the longitudinal axis with a chamber wall (WI), which is positioned radially inside, and a chamber wall (WA), which is positioned radially outside, and the electron beam can be supplied as a cylindrical hollow beam and in that the magnet system has an inner magnet arrangement (RMI), which is positioned radially inside with respect to the plasma chamber, and an outer magnet arrangement (RMA), which is positioned radially outside, which magnet arrangements each have, inside in the longitudinal direction, opposite magnetic poles (LR) which are spaced apart, wherein the magnet system (RMA, RMI) comprises a plurality of successive magnet subsystems, which are spaced apart parallel to the longitudinal axis (LA), with an opposite pole direction in the longitudinal direction (LR).
  2. Arrangement according to Claim 1, characterized in that the magnet system (RMA, RMI) has a toroidal structure.
  3. Arrangement according to Claim 1 or 2, characterized in that, in the longitudinal direction in the length of the plasma chamber, at least one intermediate electrode arrangement with a first sub-electrode (AAi) which is arranged at the outer chamber wall (WA) and, lying opposite this, a second sub-electrode (AIi) at the inner chamber wall (WI) around the longitudinal axis (LA) is provided, which sub-electrode is adapted to lie at an intermediate potential of the potential difference.
  4. Arrangement according to Claim 3, characterized in that at least one intermediate electrode (AAi, AIi) partially or completely covers a pole gap between successive poles of the magnet arrangement (RMA, RMI).
EP20010933575 2000-03-22 2001-03-22 Plasma accelerator arrangement Active EP1269803B1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE2000114034 DE10014034C2 (en) 2000-03-22 2000-03-22 Plasma accelerator arrangement
DE10014034 2000-03-22
PCT/DE2001/001105 WO2001072093A2 (en) 2000-03-22 2001-03-22 Plasma accelerator arrangement

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EP1269803A2 EP1269803A2 (en) 2003-01-02
EP1269803B1 true EP1269803B1 (en) 2008-09-17

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EP (1) EP1269803B1 (en)
JP (1) JP4944336B2 (en)
KR (1) KR20030014373A (en)
CN (1) CN1418453A (en)
AT (1) AT408978T (en)
AU (1) AU6004801A (en)
DE (2) DE10014034C2 (en)
ES (1) ES2312434T3 (en)
RU (1) RU2239962C2 (en)
WO (1) WO2001072093A2 (en)

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DE10014033C2 (en) 2000-03-22 2002-01-24 Thomson Tubes Electroniques Gm Plasma accelerator arrangement
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DE10153723A1 (en) 2001-10-31 2003-05-15 Thales Electron Devices Gmbh Plasma accelerator configuration
DE10318925A1 (en) * 2003-03-05 2004-09-16 Thales Electron Devices Gmbh Propulsion device of a spacecraft and method for attitude control of a spacecraft with such a drive device
US7624566B1 (en) 2005-01-18 2009-12-01 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of National Aeronautics And Space Administration Magnetic circuit for hall effect plasma accelerator
US7500350B1 (en) 2005-01-28 2009-03-10 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Elimination of lifetime limiting mechanism of hall thrusters
KR101094919B1 (en) * 2005-09-27 2011-12-16 삼성전자주식회사 Plasma accelerator
US7870720B2 (en) * 2006-11-29 2011-01-18 Lockheed Martin Corporation Inlet electromagnetic flow control
DE102006059264A1 (en) * 2006-12-15 2008-06-19 Thales Electron Devices Gmbh Plasma accelerator arrangement
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US8016247B2 (en) * 2007-05-25 2011-09-13 The Boeing Company Plasma flow control actuator system and method
US8016246B2 (en) * 2007-05-25 2011-09-13 The Boeing Company Plasma actuator system and method for use with a weapons bay on a high speed mobile platform
WO2011011049A2 (en) * 2009-07-20 2011-01-27 The Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford Junior University Method and apparatus for inductive amplification of ion beam energy
WO2011108060A1 (en) * 2010-03-01 2011-09-09 三菱電機株式会社 Hall thruster, cosmonautic vehicle, and propulsion method
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KR101420716B1 (en) * 2012-05-23 2014-07-22 성균관대학교산학협력단 A cyclotron
CN103037609B (en) * 2013-01-10 2014-12-31 哈尔滨工业大学 Plasma jet electron energy regulator
CN104001270B (en) * 2014-05-07 2016-07-06 上海交通大学 Extrahigh energy electron beam or photon beam radiation treatment robot system
CN108915969A (en) * 2018-07-18 2018-11-30 北京理工大学 A kind of multi-mode helicon ion thruster

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DE10014034A1 (en) 2001-10-04
ES2312434T3 (en) 2009-03-01
WO2001072093A2 (en) 2001-09-27
DE10014034C2 (en) 2002-01-24
DE50114337D1 (en) 2008-10-30
US6798141B2 (en) 2004-09-28
US20030057846A1 (en) 2003-03-27
KR20030014373A (en) 2003-02-17
AT408978T (en) 2008-10-15
RU2239962C2 (en) 2004-11-10
WO2001072093A3 (en) 2002-04-04
CN1418453A (en) 2003-05-14
AU6004801A (en) 2001-10-03
JP2003528423A (en) 2003-09-24
JP4944336B2 (en) 2012-05-30
EP1269803A2 (en) 2003-01-02

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