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Center Innovation Fund: GRC CIF

FY14 GRC: High Thrust-Density Electrostaic Engines

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The performance, and development and infusion rates of in-space electric propulsion (EP) systems must be increased, to be able to drastically increase operational capabilities of missions (via higher payload delivery capability, more rapid mission execution, etc.)  Today these systems are: unaffordable for many applications; and there is no EP technology that is scalable from 1600s to >4000s at power levels of interest to the community. 

These issues are addressable by: increasing the thrust, power, and thrust-to-power ratio capability of EP systems; reducing the non-recurring engineering systems costs; and developing system architectures with performance characteristics that capture the broadest possible range of missions so that development & flight costs are amortized over multiple users.  We believe these objectives can be achieved by developing the Next Generation Electric Propulsion Thruster (NGEPT); a GRC-patented modular EP device based on a new arrangement of relatively mature and proven technologies with the potential to yield revolutionary capabilities

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