J. Phys. Colloques
Volume 49, Numéro C6, Novembre 198835th International Field Emission Symposium / 35éme Symposium International d'Emission de Champ
|Page(s)||C6-161 - C6-166|
J. Phys. Colloques 49 (1988) C6-161-C6-166
A LIQUID METAL ION SOURCE FOR SPACE APPLICATIONF.G. RÜEDENAUER1, W. STEIGER1, H. ARENDS2, M. FEHRINGER2 et R. SCHMIDT2
1 Austrian Research Center Seibersdorf, A-2444 Seibersdorf, Austria
2 Space Science Department of ESA/ESTEC, NL-2200 Noordwijk, The Netherlands
A liquid metal ion emitter, based on indium, for active spacecraft potential control is described. A spacecraft in sunlight charges positively due to photoemission. Under most conditions, the emission of energetic ions into space can reduce the spacecraft potential with respect to the ambient plasma. The ion emitter consists of an array of 5 indirectly heated emitters and a simple focusing system. The typical operating voltage is near 5.5 kV and the nominally emitted current amounts to 10 µA with a beam opening angle of ± 30°. The source operates at an overall secondary power consumption of 0.45 Watts. The design life time of a module is 5000 h. The emitter modules will be flown on the Soviet INTERBALL, the ESA/NASA CLUSTER and the Japanese GEOTAIL mission.