Multi Axis Hall Thruster

Award Information
Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Bruce Pote
Director, Hall Thruster P
(508) 655-5565
Business Contact:
Judy Budny
Contracts Administrator
(508) 655-5565
Research Institution:
Fleets of microspacecraft and large spacecraft with xenon based propulsion are becoming increasingly more common. Such spacecraft require high delta V primary propulsion and high performance attitude control pointing toward high specific impulse electricpropulsion. Of these, pulsed plasma thrusters (PPT), resisto-jets and mini electric thrusters have poor performance. We are therefore proposing an alternative propulsion system, the variable impulse multi-axis Hall thruster.We propose to examine and experimentally demonstrate a multi-axis Hall thruster where each discharge cavity is oriented orthogonally to each other forming a cubed cluster. The multi-axis thruster will be based on Busek's 200 W thruster designated BHT-200.The clustered thruster will employ shared magnetics and a single cathode.In Phase I Busek will model, design and construct the three axis Hall thruster. Following fabrication we will test the concept in our existing Hall thruster test facilities. The performance of each thruster will be characterized and compared with thebaseline BHT-200. Also in Phase I, an overall system design for ACS propulsion on a Xe fueled spacecraft and a multi-mode propulsion system on a microsatellite will be performed. Based on the test results we will design an advanced version with anoptimized (low mass) magnetic structure to be constructed and tested in Phase II. The novel concept of a variable impulse, multi-axis Hall thruster will open a new paradign for high performance electric propulsion. Such a concept has the potential to fulfill all micropropulsion propulsion needs including primary (without gimbals),station keeping and ACS functions all with the same device. Additionally, the concept is ideal for ACS on large satellites that already have xenon on board for orbit transfer and/or stationkeeping. The resulting fuel and power processing commonalitygreatly simplifies the overall propulsion system architecture.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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