The performance, and development and infusion rates of in-space electric propulsion (EP) systems must be increased to increase mission operational capabilities. 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.
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. The design basis for the NGEPT is the Annular Engine (AE). The AE delivers two revolutionary capabilities:
This concept is also the most promising candidate to address the NASA Grand Challenge of Efficient In-Space Transportation over the next several decades. In the mid to far term, as defined in the In-Space Propulsion Systems Roadmap, Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) provides the most credible approach to provide improved propulsion performance.
This technology would benefit Earth- and Planetary Orbital applications including orbital transfers and orbital debris mitigation, and would benefit science missions in Earth Observatory, Cis-Lunar, and interplanetary, as well as cargo missions in support of human architectures.
This technology has potential direct application to future commercial missions requiring Elecltic Propulsion for Low Earth Orbit, NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) , and Group Earth Observations spacecraft platforms.
This technology has potential direct application to future National Security Space missions.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Glenn Research Center (GRC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Cleveland, OH|
|University of Michigan||Academic||Ann Arbor, MI|
|US Commerical Spacecraft||Industry|