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30-kW SEP Spacecraft as Secondary Payloads for Low-Cost Deep Space Science MissionsThe Solar Array System contracts awarded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate are developing solar arrays in the 30 kW to 50 kW power range (beginning of life at 1 AU) that have significantly higher specific powers (W/kg) and much smaller stowed volumes than conventional rigid-panel arrays. The successful development of these solar array technologies has the potential to enable new types of solar electric propulsion (SEP) vehicles and missions. This paper describes a 30-kW electric propulsion vehicle built into an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring. The system uses an ESPA ring as the primary structure and packages two 15-kW Megaflex solar array wings, two 14-kW Hall thrusters, a hydrazine Reaction Control Subsystem (RCS), 220 kg of xenon, 26 kg of hydrazine, and an avionics module that contains all of the rest of the spacecraft bus functions and the instrument suite. Direct-drive is used to maximize the propulsion subsystem efficiency and minimize the resulting waste heat and required radiator area. This is critical for packaging a high-power spacecraft into a very small volume. The fully-margined system dry mass would be approximately 1120 kg. This is not a small dry mass for a Discovery-class spacecraft, for example, the Dawn spacecraft dry mass was only about 750 kg. But the Dawn electric propulsion subsystem could process a maximum input power of 2.5 kW, and this spacecraft would process 28 kW, an increase of more than a factor of ten. With direct-drive the specific impulse would be limited to about 2,000 s assuming a nominal solar array output voltage of 300 V. The resulting spacecraft would have a beginning of life acceleration that is more than an order of magnitude greater than the Dawn spacecraft. Since the spacecraft would be built into an ESPA ring it could be launched as a secondary payload to a geosynchronous transfer orbit significantly reducing the launch costs for a planetary spacecraft. The SEP system would perform the escape from Earth and then the heliocentric transfer to the science target.
Document ID
20150007840
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Brophy, John R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Larson, Tim (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 11, 2015
Publication Date
October 6, 2013
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
IEPC-2013-405
Meeting Information
International Electric Propulsion Conference (IEPC2013)(Washington, DC)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
Dawn spacecraft
Mega Roll-Out Solar Array (Mega-ROSA)
TDM
Deployable Space Systems (DSS)
technology demonstration mission
ESPA
Solar Array System (SAS)
MegaFlex
solar electric propulsion
low-Earth orbit (LEO)