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The Trip of One Xenon Atom Through an Ion Engine - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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The Trip of One Xenon Atom Through an Ion Engine. Simplified Graphic. As a Xenon atom moves through an Ion Engine...it is. 1. Ionized. 2. Attracted. 3. Accelerated. 4. Neutralized. Why Xenon?. • it is an inert gas. • it has a low first ionization energy.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

The Trip

of

One Xenon Atom

Through an Ion Engine

Simplified Graphic

slide2

As a Xenon atom moves through an Ion Engine...it is

1. Ionized

2. Attracted

3. Accelerated

4. Neutralized

slide3

Why Xenon?

• it is an inert gas

• it has a low firstionization energy

• its charge-to-mass ratio can provide

exhaust speeds of approximately 106 km/h

• it is not radioactive

slide4

Relative Charge Number Line

Negative chargestrengthsPositivechargestrengths

Dawn

slide5

Relative Charges in Ion Engine

Dawn

Engine walls

< Xenon ion plasma

< First electrode grid

<Second electrode grid

slide6

Ionization

Enlargement of action area

• Electron collides with xenon atom

• Collision forms a xenon ion and two free electrons

slide7

Attraction to Positive Grid

Enlargement of action area

1000 micrometers (m)

slide8

Acceleration

Enlargement of action area

Xe+

Xe+

Xe

Acceleration 35,000 m/s 

1/50th of a pound thrust

slide9

Neutralization

Enlargement of action area

slide10

Xenon Ions Provide Thrust

 m e v e

=

m i v i

750-kg Dawn spacecraft

∆v = 10-5 m/s