Novel, High Performance, Hall Field Thruster
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Hall thrusters typically operate at 50% efficiency, 1600 sec specific impulse and have a proven track record on Russion satellites. Despite this impressive performance there are several areas in which Hall thruster improvements are possible. The propsed effort will focus on two such areas (1) thrust density (thrust per unit frontal area of the engine) which at present decreases with increasing thruster size and (2) efficiency improvements, that are possible across the spectrum of Hall thruster sizes, by controlling VB drifts. These improvements will be realized by modification of the conventional Hall thruster geometry. Other potential benefits include lower erosion rate of the discharge chamber (translating into longer life), diminshed beam divergence, better management of spacecraft communication interference by the ion beam and possibly easier spacecraft/thruster integration.In Phase I, the novel Hall thruster will be designed, constructed and tested. The thruster size selected for this demonstration is 1.5kW making it directly comparable to the SPT 100. Testing will include measurement of thrust as a function of propellant flow, applied magnetic filed and power input to yield Isp and efficiency performance map.In Phase II, a near flight weight prototype will be demonstrated.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Dr. V. Hruby
BUSEK CO, INC.
11 Tech Circle Natick, MA 01760
Number of Employees: