Preliminary Mission Capabilities Assessment of a Magnetically Shielded Miniature Hall Thruster

TitlePreliminary Mission Capabilities Assessment of a Magnetically Shielded Miniature Hall Thruster
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsConversano, Ryan W., Nitin Arora, Dan M. Goebel, and Richard E. Wirz
Conference Name65th International Aerospace Congress
Conference LocationToronto, Canada
ISBN NumberIAC-14.C4.4.4
AbstractThe mission capabilities of a small (~200 - 300 kg) spacecraft utilizing a low-power, long-life Hall thruster are examined. The magnetically shielded miniature Hall thruster is designed to shield the thruster from the key life-limiting erosion mechanism and can thus provide significant improvements to thruster life and delta-V. Such a thruster, which has been demonstrated and is undergoing development, is shown to be an attractive candidate for this spacecraft architecture. Trajectories are calculated to Asteroid 118401 (LINEAR) from a low Earth orbit and to an Earth-Moon L2 halo orbit from a standard geostationary transfer orbit. Results suggest that a small spacecraft using a low-power magnetically shielded Hall thruster is able to accomplish either mission for a variety of scenarios (maximum delivered mass, limited available power, constrained time-of-flight, etc.). Additionally, this novel spacecraft architecture is able to complete missions at significantly lower costs than conventionally sized (>1000 kg) spacecraft, offering considerable flexibility to spacecraft and mission designers.

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