Development and Validation of Simplied 1D Models for Hollow Cathode Analysis and Design

Mario Panelli, Antonio Smoraldi, Valeria De Simone, Francesco Battista


This paper presents a preliminary design tool for oriced hollow cathodes. Two physical models compose the tool: a
plasma model and a thermal model. A time-independent, volume-averaged model has been developed to determine
plasma properties in the emitter and orice regions. A Lumped Element Thermal Model has been also developed to
compute temperature distributions and the respective gradients within the main cathode's element. The study, conducted
to validate the results of the models, shows that there is a good agreement with values and trends found in the available
literature. The tool is able to estimate performances of new devices by the calculation of cathode working conditions for
dierent geometries given device operating condition and insert material.


Space Propulsion; Hollow Cathode; Model

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