Design of High-Power High-Specific Impulse RF-Ion Thruster


Описание материала

One possible image of powerful (35 kW) RF-ion thruster (RF IT) with specific impulse of 7000 s is examined in the paper. The work is supported by the RF Government Grant for supporting the scientific researches performed under the leadership of Russian distinguished scientists. The work carried out in the frames of the Grant makes it possible to integrate German experience (Giessen University) in developing the RF-ion thruster (including the large-size one1,2) and Russian experience (MAI) in the field of the electric propulsion3. RF-ion thruster of 46.5 cm in diameter (RF IT-450) is examined as a basic conception. Structural features and design parameters are obtained by scaling performances of smaller RFion thrusters developed in the Giessen University as well as physical approaches, obtained during their investigation and development. To secure the thruster lifetime of 50 000 hours, the RF IT should operate under 60% of maximal power, which would be possible to obtain at the module with given size. The thruster’s structure consists of the gas-discharge chamber made of alumina, and equipped by high-voltage unit for xenon feeding, inductor and RF generator with operating frequency of 650 kHz. Two-electrode ion extraction system contains approximately 8000 apertures for forming the beamlets with perveance acceptable for focusing. The electrodes’ geometry is optimized for operating under 4500 V at the screen electrode. The emitting area is 59% of the screen electrode area. The calculations shows that at the consumed RF power of 2.1 kW and Xe flow rate 10.9 mg/s the ion beam current will be about 7 A, and the thrust 760 mN. Without considering power losses and gas flow rate in the neutralizer, the total efficiency of such RF IT is 81%. The thruster operation mode can be enhanced up to a power of 57 kW and a thrust of 1.3 N. The lifetime under the nominal mode of operation is estimated about 56 500 hours.


Дата проведения

September 11 – 15, 2011

Название конференции

32nd International Electric Propulsion Conference

место проведения

Wiesbaden Germany




Аэрокосмическая техника



Типы файлов



Balashov V.V., Feili D., Khartov S., Loeb H.W., Mogulkin A.I., Obukhov V.A., Popov G.A.


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