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Low-Power Operation and Plasma Characterization of a Qualification Model SPT-140 Hall Thruster for NASA Science MissionsHall thruster systems based on commercial product lines can potentially lead to lower cost electric propulsion (EP) systems for deep space science missions. A 4.5-kW SPT-140 Hall thruster presently under qualification testing by SSL leverages the substantial heritage of the SPT-100 being flown on Russian and US commercial satellites. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is exploring the use of commercial EP systems, including the SPT-140, for deep space science missions, and initiated a program to evaluate the SPT-140 in the areas of low power operation and thruster operating life. A qualification model SPT-140 designated QM002 was evaluated for operation and plasma properties along channel centerline, from 4.5 kW to 0.8 kW. Additional testing was performed on a development model SPT-140 designated DM4 to evaluate operation with a Moog proportional flow control valve (PFCV). The PFCV was commanded by an SSL engineering model PPU-140 Power Processing Unit (PPU). Performance measurements on QM002 at 0.8 kW discharge power were 50 mN of thrust at a total specific impulse of 1250 s, a total thruster efficiency of 0.38, and discharge current oscillations of under 3% of the mean current. Steady-state operation at 0.8 kW was demonstrated during a 27 h firing. The SPT-140 DM4 was operated in closed-loop control of the discharge current with the PFCV and PPU over discharge power levels of 0.8-4.5 kW. QM002 and DM4 test data indicate that the SPT-140 design is a viable candidate for NASA missions requiring power throttling down to low thruster input power.
Document ID
20170008210
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Garner, Charles E. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Jorns, Benjamin A. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
van Derventer, Steven (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Hofer, Richard R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Rickard, Ryan (Space Systems/Loral Palo Alto, CA, United States)
Liang, Raymond (Space Systems/Loral Palo Alto, CA, United States)
Delgado, Jorge (Space Systems/Loral Palo Alto, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 1, 2017
Publication Date
July 27, 2015
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Meeting Information
AIAA Propulsion and Energy 2015(Orlando, FL)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other