Over the past few days I have been busy setting up the Faraday cup build for the upcoming ILIS1 test. Learning lessons from prior thruster testing, I decided to modify the original design to include the thruster mounting on the PEEK baseplate, making the alignment, setup, and wiring overall easier for the test. You can see the completed Faraday cup with thruster mounting support bracket in the picture below:
The system is set up with a modified high voltage ILIS1 test load and wire to simulate beam into the cup and perform some dry runs with instrumentation. This type of benchtop testing with loaded source and wire into beam diagnostics is very common in the particle accelerator field. Below you can actually see a video of the qualification test of the beamline diagnostics.
Thruster voltage is being read by the oscilloscope (+/-3.5kV), while the simulated beam current into the Faraday cup is being read by the galvonometer, which has a range of +/-500uA, which is perfect for the max expected current of +/-300uA of the ILIS1. By knowing both beam current and applied accelerating voltage, I will be able to qualify thrust and ISP of the thruster. One step closer to actual vacuum testing!