Hall plasma thruster

Hall plasma thruster

[′hȯl ¦plaz·mə ‚thrəst·ər]
(aerospace engineering)
A type of electromagnetic propulsion system in which electrons drawn through an annular discharge chamber feel the effect of a radial magnetic field between the central and outside pole pieces bounding the discharge region, and thereby follow azimuthal cyclotron (Hall-effect) trajectories that increase the probability that they will have ionizing collisions with propellant atoms; the positive ions produced in these collisions are accelerated downstream, thereby producing thrust.