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ENERGETICS HALL THRUSTER RESEARCH

The objective of the Energetics Project sponsored Hall thruster research is to discover and investigate mission enabling and enhancing Hall thruster concepts for NASA’s primary and secondary propulsion applications. The project objective is achieved by solving the technical challenges, which enable the demonstration of critical Hall thruster function. Historically, the Energetics project has developed technology to a low-moderate level of maturity (TRL 3-4) and then transferred the technology to a user for development. Recently, NASA has been competitively selected to perform higher TRL technology development (TRL 4-6). For example, the moderate TRL, high-specific impulse Hall technology being developed under the HIVHAC program was initially developed under Energetics Project sponsorship. The FY04 Energetics Hall program includes the research activities in the following areas:

  • Investigation of krypton Hall thruster plasma processes to enable the development of increasingly efficient krypton fueled Hall thrusters.
  • Development of an analytic approach for predicting the lifetime of Hall thrusters.
  • Development of a thermal modeling capability to improve the design of high power density, higher voltage (>300 Volt) Hall thrusters.
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