The self-heated hollow cathode has a simpler construction compared to traditional heated cathodes. The use of the alkali metal salts as cathode activator substances significantly reduces the temperature of the cathode and enhances start duration.
The cathode provides up to 1.5A discharge current at a mass flow rate of the working substance up to 0.05 mg /sec. The power consumption is 40W.
Application of the hollow cathode structure without start heater allows excluding power supply that provides pre-heating process for the classic structure cathodes. As a result of applying this cathode construction, the scheme of power processing unit for the propulsion system is simplified.
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