Modeling the Characteristics of an Inductively Coupled Plasma Antenna for Use in a Micro-Propulsion System

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Conference Proceeding

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An ion thruster for small satellites is under development. The thruster uses an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) generated by a flat spiral antenna for the ion source. The antenna is fabricated using the Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (LTCC) materials system. The antenna has been modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software. The antenna operating frequency range (600 MHz to 1 GHz) in LTCC (εr=7.8) results in a wavelength on the same order of magnitude as the total length of conductor in the antenna. An analysis of the antenna's behavior is presented.