An electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) thruster is disclosed having a plasma chamber which is electrically biased with a positive voltage. The chamber bias serves to efficiently accelerate and expel the positive ions from the chamber. Electrons follow the exiting ions, serving to provide an electrically neutral exhaust plume. In a further embodiment, a downstream shaping magnetic field serves to further accelerate and/or shape the exhaust plume.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 between the United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration and Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory.