The technical objectives of this proposed effort is to design a 500 W class Hall thruster with the propellant throughput capability and performance levels that can meet the mSEPSAT (Solar electric propulsion) projected mission performance needs. One class of small spacecraft of particular interest is optimized for launch as secondary payloads using the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) on Atlas V or Delta IV. This type of spacecraft is referred to as an ESPA class spacecraft. These spacecraft while limited in terms of both mass and volume, offer the opportunity to utilize SEP to increase ESPA class spacecraft capability if recent developments in higher power in magnetically-shielded Hall thrusters can be scaled appropriately.
The 500 W thruster design will incorporate design features that leverage the lessons learned from the design of the TRL 5 high voltage Hall accelerator (HiVHAc) and the 12.5 kW Technology Development Unit (TDU) Hall thrusters. The design of the 500 W Hall thruster will include design features that are directly extensible to the high-power SEP systems that are an integral part of NASA HEOMD's exploration architecture.
The tremendous capabilities of an SEP ESPA class S/C have been illustrated through mission concept designs performed by the NASA GRC COMPASS team, the SEP TDM project and Ball Aerospace under a NASA GRC sponsored SAA. In fact, the on-orbit capability relative to the projected cost of this type of spacecraft is so enticing, the SEP TDM project considers this concept an option for the STMD sponsored SEP TDM. Such a spacecraft has sufficient ΔV capability to complete a number of high profile NASA science missions at 20% the cost of a Discovery class NASA science mission revolutionizing NASA's approach to performing NASA science missions. All the mission concepts performed to date utilize a 500 W class Hall thruster propulsion system that has not been demonstrated and the proposed effort is therefore considered to be highly relevant to the Agency and the US commercial spacecraft sector as well.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Glenn Research Center (GRC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Cleveland, OH|