A neutral background pressure map of the large vacuum test facility (LVTF) is presented. The LVTF is mapped at cold anode flow rates of 5.25, 10.46, and 14.09 mg/s14.09mg∕s. In addition, neutral background pressure maps are created at hot anode (i.e., discharge on) flow rates of 5.25 and 10.46 mg/s10.46mg∕s for discharge voltages of 300 and 500 V500V, corresponding to P5 Hall thruster operating conditions ranging from 1.5 to 5.0 kW1.5to5.0kW. The chamber pressure is mapped at nominal xenon pumping speeds of 140 000 and 240 000 l/s240000l∕s. The pressure map is performed with a rake consisting of five calibrated Bayard–Alpert hot-cathode ionization gauges. The plume expansion appears to be independent of anode flow rate and facility background pressure. Analysis of axial pressure profiles on the LVTF’s centerline shows that the plume pressure decreases from a maximum at the thruster exit plane down to the facility background pressure at approximately 2 m2m downstream of the exit plane. Comparison of axial pressure profiles on the LVTF’s centerline shows that the neutral density is nearly the same for cold flow and hot flow. The study shows that a cold flow neutral density background map accurately characterizes the neutral density in an operating Hall thruster plume
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