Questions tagged [electric-propulsion]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Are the (relatively) new “all electric” satellite buses like the Boeing 702SP really all-electric? Are RCS and momentum unloading done with ions?

This answer to Can ion Thrusters be used for Reaction Control System? got me thinking about the new "all-electric" class of commercial satellite buses. Question: Are the (relatively) new &...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Can ion Thrusters be used for Reaction Control System?

As RCS (Reaction Control System) mainly required less thrust than regular rocket engine can ion Thrusters be used for attitude determination in spacecraft(Orion, Dragon), satellites or even during ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

How much of the world's xenon has been used in spaceflight altogether? Is it a lot? Did it cost a lot?

This answer to Why will Starlink satellites use krypton instead of xenon for electric propulsion? says: I expect they did the math, and found that overall cost was less, even with reduced thrust/watt ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Simple Ionic Drive Problem

I am having trouble with my calculated values for part B of the problem. In part A I used the formula F=qE, where F is the force, q is the charge = 1.6 * 10^-19 coulombs and E is the electric field = ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

What are all the kinds of electric propulsion that don't qualify as ion propulsion in standard spaceflight lingo?

Comments on the meta question We have both electric-propulsion and ion-thruster tags, are they distinct? What would be good usage guidance for electric-propulsion? indicate that the term "...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Has anyone suggested using an electrically powered sling or centrifuge mass thrower as a form of electrically powered spacecraft propulsion?

Has anyone suggested using an electrically powered sling as a form of electric propulsion for a space craft? It might be a centrifuge type arrangement with a way to release part of or all of the ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

GMAT: LEO to GEO with Electrical Thruster simulation?

I would like to get a simulation from LEO to GEO with an electrical Kick-Stage. GMAT seems to be able to do it. Is there any Script/Scenario already written? The aim is to perform a parametric study ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Powering pulsed Ion Thruster

The thrust of an Ion Thruster is directly proportional to the Input power. I've done some experimenting with DIY versions, and I was wondering: Since Power is simply Energy/Time, if I shot incredibly ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

What technologies enable or at least help satellite operation in Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)?

This answer to How low is VLEO? (FCC's newest approval for SpaceX) suggests VLEO begins (or ends I guess) at 350 km. The two bad things I know about in VLEO are an enhanced rate of altitude loss due ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

How long can the dawn probe‘s ion thrusters burn?

The title pretty much summarizes the question. Weirdly, googling „dawn spaceprobe burn time“ and similar things didn‘t turn up anything useful (at least for me), so I was wondering if maybe someone ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Are there now established classes of solar-electric powered spacecraft?

The NASA.gov press release NASA Awards Contract to Launch Initial Elements for Lunar Outpost says: NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Technological challenges to sending a high altitude balloon to space and orbit from 50 km?

Below At what altitude would I have to go in a lighter than air balloon to be above all wind and just have the earth rotate underneath me? there is a comment: If you want to be above all winds, you ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

How much additional thrust could the electron gun produce for electric sail propulsion?

Suppose there is an electric sail in LEO, do the electrons coming out of the gun produce an additional thrust? to produce a net thrust the electrons should NOT return to the satellite (which is at a ...
0
votes
0answers
159 views

How much krypton do Starlink satellites carry when they are first deployed?

Starlink satellites use krypton as propellant. This answer roughly estimates 2.3 kg of Krypton based on a total delta-V of 190 m/s and an exhaust velocity of 20,000 m/s. But how close is that to ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Combination of fuel cells and electric motors - whether it has been used as part of an electric pump-fed engines?

In electric-pump-fed engines fuel pumps are electrically powered and batteries are used as source of electricity. Yet there is another source of electrical energy which could be used in theory - fuel ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Is the thrust provided by electrostatic engines low because thrust depends on particle mass of the exhaust in the case of electrostatic engines?

Based on the equations of mass flow rate and exit velocity provided here (https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/rocket/rktthsum.html), we can see that thrust in the case of chemical engines does not ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Can I “tack” towards a laser beam from which I am powering my 100% efficient & massless ion engine?

As far as I know, for light and particles taking special relativity into account: \begin{align} E^2 &= (T + m_0c^2)^2\\ &= p^2 c^2 + m_0^2 c^4 &\text{ (particles)}\\[1.5em] E &= p ...
7
votes
1answer
784 views

Is the propulsion for the Scorpion nuclear-thermal-electric ship concept viable and credible?

Recently I've come across the proposal for the "Scorpion" spacecraft -- I originally ran across it on Project Rho (ctrl-F for it) but it looks like the article was published in the journal ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Is an electric fuel tug from LEO to moon orbit economically feasible?

Does it make economical sense to use an electricaly powered fuel tug to supply a moon landing program with fuel? I am imagining an architecture of launching a 25t payload of mostly fuel into LEO which ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Options for (high-thrust) RCS with Isp beyond that of chemical?

There are a number of potential options for high-performance engines in the future: nuclear pulse propulsion, NTR, gas-core NTR, nuclear electrothermal, and potentially even fusion rockets. However, ...
-3
votes
2answers
106 views

Fuel used for electric propulsion?

What kind of fuel do electric propulsion spacecraft and satellites use? Did any of them get electricity from bateries? An ion engine creates thrust by accelerating ions using electricity. How is that ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Where can I learn to calculate the physics of an ion thruster?

I am trying to build an ion thruster, but I don’t know where to start learning the actual numbers behind one. I know how they work on a basic level, but not much more. Basically I want to be able to ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Why might krypton have a lower utilization fraction than xenon for ion propulsion, and what can be done to improve it?

A comment below Why will Starlink satellites use krypton instead of xenon for electric propulsion? links to the 2011 preprint A Performance Comparison of Xenon and KryptonPropellant on an SPT-100 Hall ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Could a carbon arc lamp help to propel a spacecraft through interstellar space?

I would like to know, on a theoretical basis, if the electron flow entering into the anode of a carbon arc lamp would impart enough kinetic energy to the anode, and thus to the spacecraft, to help ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Was DAWN's power-limited propulsion really limited by power used to accelerate the ions?

The discussion here uses the DAWN mission as a reference for the argument that the power used to accelerate the ions is what's important. I'm curious how many watts were actually used to accelerate ...
7
votes
3answers
784 views

Have light gases like hydrogen or helium been explored for ion propulsion?

This answer and discussion in comments below this answer mention that for an ion of mass $m$ and charge $q$ accelerated by a voltage $V$ the momentum it receives (impulse) is $$p = \sqrt{2mqV} = \...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Using recent technology, how much electrical power could a nuclear reactor launchable by a low-level heavy-lift vehicle be developed to produce?

The main purpose behind asking this question is to ascertain the potential power-to-weight ratio of reactors built using modern-derivative technology (i.e. either Generation III derivatives or ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Going to Eros; what to consider choosing between ion and chemical propulsion?

When planning a mission to a close approach to the asteroid Eros and to remain nearby, what are the factors that one would need to consider when choosing between ion propulsion and chemical propulsion?...
10
votes
1answer
753 views

What's the final word; does the EmDrive drive work or not?

I'd like to know the final verdict on the EmDrive (or EM Drive); does it work or not? Some say yes, others say no, some say the measured effect was not propulsion, but just the energy radiated by the ...
3
votes
1answer
259 views

Is the BBC's explanation of nuclear thermal electric propulsion wrong?

The new BBC News item New engine tech that could get us to Mars faster says: Once Orion has been connected to the transfer vehicle, a nuclear electric rocket would be used to get the crew capsule and ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Do colloid thrusters generate thrust by using only droplets or pure ions as well? If they only use droplets, how are they the same as electrospray?

In all of the research literature I have read so far, I've seen colloid thrusters explained as devices that gain thrust by releasing only charged droplets from ionic liquids as the exhaust mass. ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

Mass ratio of solar-electric versus radioisotope thermo-electric power for propulsion; beyond how many AU do RTGs win?

Solar-electric propulsion has been used several times now in deep space missions. This question explores the scalability in comparison to Radioisotope thermoelectric generation or other nuclear-based ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

When did ion propulsion first see some serious development efforts?

In the video below at about 01:35 Dr. Marc D. Rayman, Chief Propulsion Engineer, NASA JPL mentions that the first time he had heard about ion propulsion was on the ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

What are the advantages of solid iodine propellant and how is it used for ion propulsion?

I was reading about different sources of propellant for ion thrusters, Xenon being the most common. However, in more recent articles I've found more and more mentions of Solid Iodine being used as ion ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

What exactly has “changed” about the way that NASA will procure technology for the Artemis program?

A video in the Space.com article NASA Taps Maxar to Build Lunar Gateway Power Module for Artemis Moon Plan shows the NASA director explaining the series Artemis 1, 2, 3... and announcing that the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Who built Starlink's electric propulsion systems?

Wondering who actually built the Starlink propulsion systems? Did SpaceX develop this technology in-house, outsource or acquire a company that had the IP and bring this back in-house? Very curious ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Can a Mars orbiter mass only 50 kg?

A press release by the SatRevolution consortium says that it plans to send cubesats "as small as 50 kg" to Mars to "conduct a variety of valuable science." So that means orbiting, not just a flyby ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Why do the optimal thrust vectors point so far away from the velocity vector for the Psyche mission?

The question Psyche 16 - What will be learned in 2026? got me reading Wikipedia's Psyche (spacecraft) which links to the 35th International Electric Propulsion Conference paper Development of the ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

How does a “hybrid orbital raising system” based on R-4D (N2O4/MMH) + SPT-100 (Hall effect) work exactly? (Intelsat 38 & 39)

Astronatix's Intelsat 39 lists the two engines SPT-100 Stechkin 1.35 kW Hall thruster. R-4D Marquardt N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 490 N. Question: Why is this combination on Intelsat 39 called "hybrid" ...
20
votes
2answers
16k views

Why will Starlink satellites use krypton instead of xenon for electric propulsion?

The press kit for the first Falcon 9 Starlink launch and deployment of the first 60 satllites scheduled for May 15, 2019 says: With a flat-panel design featuring multiple high-throughput antennas ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Super Capacitor Stages

Could this super capacitor be up scaled to be of use in the lower stages of a rocket? Here is the only information I found online on this? Related: Could rockets ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

What are ways to store hydrogen for electric propulsion without a heavy pressure vessel?

This comment points out that any advantages of using low-mass ionized atomic hydrogen (i.e. protons) for electric propulsion if you had a fixed acceleration voltage and plenty of electrical power ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

What's the lowest altitude that an ion engine has been used for a significant orbital maneuver?

I'm thinking about trying to calculate something for Where do ion propulsion's ions go? Do they remain in the solar system or shoot out into interstellar space? Excluding low altitude tests of ion ...
4
votes
1answer
580 views

Ratio of low-thrust slow spiral to Hohmann transfer $\Delta V$?

Going from one circular orbit to another, there are tables out there and equations that give the total $\Delta V$ needed for a two or three impulse maneuver scenario. For a very low thrust propulsion ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

How to calculate the kilowatt hours (kW-h) needed for a solar-electric engine to produce a given delta-v?

A spacecraft is in LEO and I would like to reach a certain point in space; let's say Mars. If I look at the diagram in this answer I see that the delta-v from low Earth orbit to low Mars orbit is ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Is it possible to protect a Cubesat's electronics from 100g of acceleration?

I am currently researching the feasibility of setting up a coilgun that launches Cubesats for a paper. 1 cubesat per launch total payload mass <100kg.
2
votes
2answers
475 views

Calculating thrust pressure from ion thruster for rocket thrust equation

So recently i have been very interested in the possibilities of using ion thrusters as power interstellar propulsion units, however when it comes to calculating ISP it have absolutely zero idea how ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

Why is hydrazine used in arcjet thrusters?

Most arcjet thrusters seem to use hydrazine or ammonia, with some research being done on hydrogen and water arcjets. I know hydrazine is easily catalyzed into exothermic decomposition, and it and its ...
2
votes
5answers
935 views

What is the most energy efficient & inexpensive propulsion system other than chemical fuel oxidizer that could be used in rockets?

I have read ionic/plasma propulsion system don't provide enough thrust to even lift themselves in Earth's atmosphere & photonic beamed propulsion is not in application yet so there any other ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Are ion/plasma thrusters sufficient for propulsion from Earth? [closed]

I'm looking to make something like a jet pack and I'm looking for super cheap thrusters to carry humans than normal chemical oxidized ones that are used in spacecrafts. I read that ionic thrusters can'...