Astronomy & Space Sciences

Title :

Characterization and development of new thermionicmaterial for hollow cathode of electric thruster which cannot easily get poisoned

Area of research :

Astronomy & Space Sciences

Focus area :

Thermionic material development for Hollow cathode for Electric propulsion


Executive Summary :

Hollow thermionic material is a critical element in the development of cathode for electric propulsion. Cathodes are electron source for plasma generation and neutralization in EP thrusters. Thermionic material made of inorganic refractory material. i.e. Lanthanum hexaboride LaB6 with work function of about 2.6 eV emit electron as bulk material without any chemical reaction. Further it is less sensitive to impurities and air exposure. laB6 cathode has long life in thruster application because of low evaporation rate. At present this material imported. Hence indigenization material required with well understanding of surface properties, emission characteristic and temperature profile to operate the cathode for various thruster discharge current.


Shri. Abarna V, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiamala

Organizations involved