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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The goals of this research are (1) to prove the concept feasibility of a direct-drive electric propulsion system, and (2) to evaluate the performance and characteristics of a Russian TAL (Thruster with Anode Layer) operating in a long-pulse mode, powered by a capacitor-based power source developed at Space Power Institute. The TAL, designated D-55, is characterized by an external acceleration zone and is powered by a unique chemical double layer (CDL) capacitor bank with a capacitance of 4 F at a charge voltage of 400 V. Performance testing of this power supply on the TAL was conducted at NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, OH. Direct thrust measurements of the TAL were obtained at CDL power levels ranging from 450 to 1750 W. The specific impulse encompassed a range from 1150 s to 2200 s, yielding thruster system efficiencies between 50 and 60%. Preliminary mission analysis of the CDL direct-drive concept and other electric propulsion options was performed for the ORACLE spacecraft in 6am/6pm and 12am/12pm, 300 km sun-synchronous orbits. The direct-drive option was competitive with the other systems by increasing available net mass between 5 and 42% and reducing two-year system wet mass between 18 and 63%. Overall, the electric propulsion power requirements for the satellite solar array were reduced between 57 and 91% depending oil the orbit evaluated The direct-drive, CDL capacitor-based concept in electric propulsion thus promises to be a highly-efficient, viable alternative for satellite operations in specific near-Earth missions.
- Document ID: 20000025490.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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