Next Generation Hall effect Thruster Concepts

Period of Performance: 09/17/2003 - 09/17/2004


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Kaufman & Robinson, Inc.
1306 Blue Spruce Drive, Unit A
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Texas Tech University
Dept of Elec and Computer Engr Box 43102
Lubbock, TX 79409
Institution POC


The purpose of this proposal is the research and development of low power (about 100 W) close-drift thruster with improved magnetic field. The patented design of the magnetic field makes possible to dramatically reduce the permissible size of a conventional stationary plasma thruster (SPT) that is limited by magnetic saturation of the inner magnetic path. The thruster with our improved magnetic field has a 20 mm outside diameter for the discharge channel and an overall diameter of 47 mm. The thruster''s mass is less than 150 g with an electromagnetic coil, and it could be reduced to 100 g with a permanent magnet configuration. Thruster efficiency is higher than 0.35 with a specific impulse of 1860-1290 sec. Thruster operates on xenon with discharge voltage of 150-350 V. The technology generated in the research and development should have applications in commercial ion sources used in a variety of thin-film industry.