High Repetition Rate Electrodeless Thruster
Small Business Information
Science Research Laboratory
15 Ward Street, Somerville, MA, 02143
Xing Chen, Phd
AbstractPotential advantages of pulsed electrodeless inductive thrusters over other types of electric thrusters include an ultra-low erosion rate, long lifetime, and capability of operating over a wide range of power levels. Performance of present inductive thrusters is hindered by the lack of reliable, efficient pulsed-power technology. Science Research Laboratory has developed novel all-solid-state pulsed drivers that have greater than 10(E)11 shot life and can operate at repetition rates of 10(3 pps and higher. The pulsed drivers can generate the pulse waveform required for rapid gas breakdown, efficient plasma acceleration, and recovery of the reflected electrical energy. This new driver technology will lead to a 100-1000 times increase in thruster total impulse, a factor of 10 reduction in specific weight, and more than 50% increase in energy efficiency. Successful development of the all-solid-state inductive thruster will result in a thruster technology that is lightweight, efficient, capable of achieving 10(E)8 - 10(E)9 N-sec total impulse, and scalable to megawatt average power levels.
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