The University of Southampton

Novel Manufacture and Design of Lanthanum Hexaboride Cathode for Ion Engines

Applied Electromagnetism, Plasma and Space Science

The project aims to design, manufacture, and test a lanthanum hexaboride neutralizer cathode for an ion engine. The design is oriented around manufacture using techniques normally used for microchip manufacture in the semiconductor industry, but which have not been used in the manufacture of ion engine components. The effectiveness of the design will be modeled in COMSOL and it will be manufactured within the university cleanrooms, with testing carried out in Padua. A lifespan of 10,000 hours operation is hoped.

Primary investigators

Secondary investigator

  • Hector Hamilton

Associated research group

  • Electronics and Computer Science
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