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High-Power Performance of a 100-kW Class Nested Hall ThrusterThe performance of a three-channel, 100-kW class nested Hall thruster was evaluated on xenon propellant for total powers up to 102 kW at NASA Glenn Research Center. The thruster demonstrated stable operation in all seven available channel combinations at discharge voltages from 300 V to 500 V and three different current densities. The resulting test matrix contained forty-six unique conditions ranging from 5 to 102 kW total power and 16 to 247 A discharge current. At each operating condition, thruster performance was measured, and from these measurements specific impulse and efficiency were calculated. All seven channel combinations showed similar performance at a given discharge voltage and current density. The largest thrust recorded was 5.4 N ± 0.1 N at 99 kW, 400 V discharge voltage. Total efficiency and specific impulse ranged from 0.54 to 0.67 ± 0.03 and 1800 seconds to 2650 seconds ± 60 seconds, respectively. It was found that the thrust of the three channels firing together was not larger than the sum of each channel firing individually. Discharge current oscillations were also characterized with peak-to-peak and root-mean-square values and with power spectral density analysis. The implications of these results are discussed in the context of operation beyond 100 kW, as well as the general viability of NHT technology for future mission applications.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hall, Scott J. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Jorns, Benjamin J. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Gallimore, Alec D. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Kamhawi, Hani (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Haag, Thomas W. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Mackey, Jonathan A. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Gilland, James H. (Ohio Aerospace Inst. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Peterson, Peter Y. (Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Baird, Matthew (University of Western Michigan Kalamazoo, MI, United States)
Date Acquired
May 6, 2019
Publication Date
October 8, 2017
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Electric Propulsion Conference (IEPC)(Atlanta, GA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 729200.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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