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Center Innovation Fund: GRC CIF

FY15 GRC CIF High-Power Full-Scale Annular Engine (AE) Demonstration (AE )

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

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:

  • It Enables Extensibility of Ion Technology to High Power at High Thrust Density
  • It Creates a New Cost Paradigm for EP by Enabling a Reconfigurable Architecture
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