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Center Innovation Fund: MSFC CIF

Pulsed Lorentz Accelerator

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Pulsed Lorentz Accelerator
The Pulsed Lorentz Accelerator (PLA) is proposed to fill the propulsion gap for 6U and smaller satellites. The primary objective is to demonstrate the basic principles of operation for the newly defined PLA electromagnetic thruster concept. This will be accomplished through a combination of analysis, 1D numerical modeling, and the experimental demonstration of a scaled device on a thrust stand in an MSFC vacuum chamber. Analytic models will also be used to estimate the performance at higher power levels. As power levels increase to 100-kW and beyond, the options for in-space electric propulsion again begin to diminish and the PLA may display distinct advantages over other high power, low TRL propulsion concepts such as PIT, MPD and VASIMR. More »

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