A Direct Drive System Application for Hall Effect Thrusters


Product Description

Hall thruster Direct- Drive system is a concrete candidate for future space missions. It is already proven that this configuration can lead to substantial benefits not only in the electric propulsion power processor but also in the thermal control system and in the Electrical Power System (EPS) system. The test target was to understand and demonstrate the Direct-Drive system operations for the Alta’s low power HT-100 Hall thruster. A series of four thin-film solar panels providing up to 370 W at 270 V was directly connected to the thruster through a filter. For the purpose of this test, a LC filter was designed with a 10 μF capacitor and a 1 mH inductor. Thruster operations resulted correct and stable. The system performance throttling was carried out via anode flow rate regulation and this method came out to be simple and effective. Two ignition procedures, soft start and hard start, were investigated by taking the current data during startup transient. The hard start proved to be more demanding but in both cases the thruster ignited properly. Filter performance were also evaluated by comparing the RMS value of the measured current oscillations on thruster side and solar array side during steady state operations. The data evidences that the filter is always capable to dampen thruster current peaks; the RMS on the solar array side remained almost constant in all the tested operative conditions.

Additional Information

Time of event

October 6 – 10, 2013

Сonference Title

33nd International Electric Propulsion Conference

Conference Venue

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA




Aerospace Engineering



Types of files



Andrenucci M., Misuri T., Pampaloni A., Trisolini M.


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