Helicon Hall Thruster
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This proposal seeks to provide a novel electric propulsion option that will offer significant performance advantages over the current state of the art and surpass the IHPRPT Phase III goals for electrostatic propulsion. This will be accomplished by combining the efficient ionization mechanism of a helicon source with the favorable plasma acceleration properties of a Hall thruster. By utilizing the helicon ionization mechanism in the helicon Hall thruster, we will develop a device that outperforms conventional Hall thrusters at all operating conditions while delivering the most pronounced performance gains at the high thrust-to-power operating conditions of greatest relevance to DoD missions. Over the course of the proposed two-year effort, EDA will work in conjunction with our subcontractor, Aerojet, to design, fabricate, and test an HHT based on the magnetic circuit created in our Phase I effort. We will demonstrate optimized performance of the HHT using both a conventional hollow cathode and a helicon neutralizer during operation on both xenon and argon propellants. This effort will conclusively demonstrate the ability of two-stage Hall thrusters using highly-efficient helicon ionization sources to outperform today's state-of-the-art in spacecraft propulsion.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ELECTRODYNAMIC APPLICATIONS, INC.
P.O. Box 131460 Ann Arbor, MI 48113
Number of Employees: