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Electric Rocket Propulsion


Development and Research of an Experimental Model of Electric Propulsion Based on Accelerator with Closed Electron Drift

Tech Area / Field

  • SAT-STM/Spacecraft Trajectories and Mechanics/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Karabashev S G

Leading Institute
Keldysh Research Center, Russia, Moscow


  • NASDA, Japan, Tokyo\nMarubeni Utility Services, Ltd., Japan, Tokyo

Project summary

The goal of this project is the development and research of convenience provision of electric propulsion models with closed electron drift with high integral performance (power - 100-300 W).

Electric propulsion based on an accelerator with closed electron drift is a Stationary Plasma Thrust (SPT) and a Thruster with Anode Layers (TAL) which potentially are one of most promising EP for application in various tasks of space engineering at a propellant outflow velocity from 10 000 to 20 000 m/s. Their advantage over other EP consists in the cleansheet design both of the thruster by itself, and power supply system, and as a consequence, in relatively higher reliability.

The SPT and TAL models developed in Russia with powers 700-1500 W have a high integral performance make it possible to consider their use at the heavy spacecraft. For the small spacecraft, which using is of great interest today, there is no developed thruster with power 100-300 W yet.

The problem of development of low-power thruster module with high output performance one can split into two equivalent independent tasks:

- development of highly efficient accelerating unit;
- development of cathode-compensator with low-losses of propellant and power.

Our preliminary research of accelerator with closed electron drift (with the power lower then expected) is promising to develop experimental model of thruster with power 100-300 W, thrust - 5-15 mN and specific pulse - 10 000-20 000 m/s.

As the result of project the model of high-efficient electric propulsion with low power for using at promising small spacecraft will be manufactured.


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