Skip to main content
banner image
No data available.
Please log in to see this content.
You have no subscription access to this content.
No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.
1.I. O’Neill, “Cubesats: A space junk hazard?” (2014).
2.D. Oltrogge et al., “An evaluation of cubesat orbital decay” (2011).
3.L. Qiao, C. Rizos, and A. Dempster, “Analysis and comparison of cubesat lifetime''.
4.B. Juttner, “Cathode spots of electric arcs,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 34, R103R123 (2001).
5.I. Beilis et al., “A mechanism for nanosecond cathode spot operation in vacuum arcs,” Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on 29, 844847 (2001).
6.R. L. Boxman, D. M. Sanders, and P. J. Martin, “Handbook of vacuum arc science & technology: Fundamentals and applications” (William Andrew, 1996).
7.A. Anders, I. G. Brown, R. A. MacGill, and M. R. Dickinson, “Triggerless’ triggering of vacuum arcs,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 31, 584 (1998).
8.M. Keidar and I. Beilis, “Plasma Engineering: Applications from Aerospace to Bio and Nanotechnology” (Academic Press, 2013).
9.M. Keidar, T. Zhuang, A. Shashurin, G. Teel, D. Chiu, J. Lukas, S. Haque, and L. Brieda, “Electric propulsion for small satellites,” Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 57, 014005 (2015).
10.G. Makrinich and A. Fruchtman, “Enhancement of electric force by ion-neutral collisions,” Applied Physics Letters 95, 181504 (2009).

Data & Media loading...


Article metrics loading...



The Micro-Cathode Arc Thruster (CAT) is an electric propulsion device that ablates solid cathode material, through an electrical vacuum arc discharge, to create plasma and ultimately produce thrust in the N to mN range. About 90% of the arc discharge current is conducted by electrons, which go toward heating the anode and contribute very little to thrust, with only the remaining 10% going toward thrust in the form of ion current. A preliminary set of experiments were conducted to show that, at the same power level, thrust may increase by utilizing an ablative anode. It was shown that ablative anode particles were found on a collection plate, compared to no particles from a non-ablative anode, while another experiment showed an increase in ion-to-arc current by approximately 40% at low frequencies compared to the non-ablative anode. Utilizing anode ablation leads to an increase in thrust-to-power ratio in the case of the CAT.


Full text loading...


Access Key

  • FFree Content
  • OAOpen Access Content
  • SSubscribed Content
  • TFree Trial Content
752b84549af89a08dbdd7fdb8b9568b5 journal.articlezxybnytfddd