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AE Defense: Characterization of a 100-kW Class Nested-Channel Hall Thruster

Aerospace Engineering PhD Candidate: Scott Hall, Dissertation Co-Chairs: Dean Alec Gallimore and Benjamin Jorns

Scott in PEPL photo Scott in PEPL photo
Aerospace Engineering PhD Candidate: Scott Hall, Dissertation Co-Chairs: Dean Alec Gallimore and Benjamin Jorns

The next generation of electric propulsion consists of systems in excess of 300 kW of power. These systems enable a wide variety of missions, including crewed missions to near-Earth asteroids and Mars. Hall thrusters are a particularly attractive technology for these missions, but development and demonstration of 100-kW class devices has been limited to date. Here, a 100-kW class three-channel nested Hall thruster called the X3 was operated up to 102 kW total discharge power at NASA Glenn Research Center. The thruster demonstrated stable operation in all seven channel combinations at discharge voltages from 300 V to 500 V and three different current densities. All seven channel combinations demonstrated similar performance at a given discharge voltage and current density. The largest thrust recorded was 5.4 N, and total efficiency and specific impulse ranged from 0.54 to 0.67 and 1800 seconds to 2650 seconds, respectively. In addition to the performance measurements, a suite of plasma diagnostics and a high-speed camera were used to study the operation of the thruster in greater detail. This work represents the highest total power (102 kW), thrust (5.4 N), and discharge current (247 A) demonstrated by a Hall thruster to date, improvements of 6%, 64%, and 119% respectively over previous values. These results are discussed in the context of continued high-power Hall thruster development and future mission applications.

Dissertation Committee
Dean Alec D. Gallimore, Co-Chair
Asst. Prof. Benjamin A. Jorns, Co-Chair
Prof. John E. Foster (NERS), Cognate
Members: Dr. Richard R. Hofer (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Dr. Hani Kamhawi (NASA Glenn Research Center)

Publications

CONFERENCE PAPERS:

Hall, S.J., Jorns B.A., Gallimore, A.D., Kamhawi, H., Haag, T.W., Mackey, J.A., Huang, W., Gilland, J.H., and Peterson, P. Y., "High-Power Performance of a 100-kW class Nested Hall Thruster", 35th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Atlanta, GA, IEPC-2017-228.

Cusson, S.E., Hall, S.J., Hofer, R.R., Jorns, B.A., and Gallimore, A.D., "The Impact of Magnetic Field Coupling Between Channels in a Nested Hall Thruster," 35th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Atlanta, GA, IEPC-2017-507.

Goebel, D.M., Becatti, G., Reilly, S., Tilley, K., and Hall, S.J., "High Current Lanthanum Hexaboride Hollow Cathode for 20-200 kW Hall Thrusters," 35th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Atlanta, GA, IEPC-2017-303.

Jackson, J., Allen, M., Myers, R., Hoskins, A., Soendker, E., Welander, B., Hall, S.J., Jorns, B.A., Gallimore, A.D., Hofer, R.R., and Pencil, E., "100 kW Nested Hall Thruster System Development", 35th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Atlanta, GA, IEPC-2017-219.

Hall, S.J., Jorns, B.A., Gallimore, A.D., and Hofer, R.R., "Expanded Thruster Mass Model Incorporating Nested Hall Thrusters", 53rd AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. Atlanta, GA, AIAA-2017-4729.
Reilly, S., Hofer, R.R., Hall, S.J., “Thermal Analysis of the 100-kW Class X3 Hall Thruster”, 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems.

Hall, S., Gallimore, A., Viges, E., "Thrust Measurement in Very-High-Power Hall Thrusters", 63rd Joint Army/Navy/NASA/Air Force Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Phoenix, AZ.

Hall, S., Cusson, S., Gallimore, A. "30-kW Performance of a 100-kW Class Nested-channel Hall Thruster", 34th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Kobe-Hyogo, Japan, IEPC-2015-125.

Hall, S., Florenz, R., Gallimore, A., Kamhawi, H,. Peterson, P., Brown, D., Goebel, D., Hofer, R., Polk, J., "Design Details of a 100-kW-Class Nested-channel Hall Thruster", 62nd Joint Army/Navy/NASA/Air Force Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Nashville, TN.

Hall, S., Florenz, R., Gallimore, A., Kamhawi, H., Brown, D., Polk, J., Goebel, D., Hofer, R., "Implementation and Initial Validation of a 100-kW Class Nested-channel Hall Thruster", 50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Cleveland, OH, AIAA-2014-3815.

Florenz, R., Hall, S., Gallimore, A., Kamhawi, H., Griffiths, C., Brown, D., Hofer, R., Polk, J., "First Firing of a 100-kW Nested-channel Hall Thruster," 33rd International Electric Propulsion Conference, Washington, D.C., IEPC-2013-394.
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When and Where

Off Campus Location

November 2017

11:00am - 12:00pm

Map Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building - Johnson Rooms

3:00pm - 4:30pm

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