Questions tagged [ion-thruster]

Questions about engines used in space that accelerate ions to create thrust.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
1answer
71 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?...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

What is the most efficient way to go to Titan? [closed]

With ionic motors? or chemical engines? liquid propellant (LH2) or gas? What is the most compact way to make the trip? in the smallest possible rocket, for example the SS-520-5 is a 2-stage rocket, 11....
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What are the most effective deep-space propulsion systems?

I am looking for a powerful propulsion system for deep space missions. I am between a powerful ionic motor or a VASIMIR (variable specific impulse magnetoplasm motor). What do you think? The idea ...
2
votes
1answer
711 views

What would the rocket equation look like for 4 ion thrusters?

If i have 4 ion thrusters(IFM Nano Thrusters), how would the rocket equation have to be done to calculate the total delta-v?
1
vote
1answer
115 views

What calculations should I do to go from LEO to the moon with an ionic motor?

my question is, what calculations should I do to be able to go from LEO to the lunar orbit? If this were done, two of these thrusters would be used https://www.cubesatshop.com/product/ifm-nano-...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

What is a lithium fed GIT? How does it work?

This answer to What is the maximum speed an ion engine can propel a spacecraft at? mentions the following: Lithium fed GIT (gridded ion thrusters) have demonstrated 50,000 - 80,000 seconds of ISP (...
2
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
199 views

Would ISS raise up with the help of the self-powered ion thrusters?

The solar arrays provide about 100 kW of power, so we can put the two HiPEP thusters providing 1 N (1000 mN) power combined, with the specific impulse as high as 6000–9000. Such an acceleration force ...
1
vote
2answers
169 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
70 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
88 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
2answers
256 views

How quickly can the Starlink spacecraft respond to an impending collision?

update: The word "refused" might be inaccurate: CNET: ESA's near collision with SpaceX Starlink satellite blamed on a 'bug' Ars Technica: SpaceX satellite was on “collision course” until ESA ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Where should ion drives be placed on a rotating space station of the lop-sided dumbbell variety?

I have been working on a model of a proposed artificial gravity facility by Joe Carroll, based on this paper. It is an initial concept paper and it doesn't spell everything out, so I am trying to ...
8
votes
1answer
79 views

VLEO - ion thrust using atmospheric molecules?

For very low Earth orbit satellites such as the SpaceX Starlink, would it be at all feasible to design an ionic thruster that carries no onboard fuel? Instead it would simply scoop the atoms directly ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

How does a Hall effect ion thruster have a sea-level Isp of 800? Operates at 1 atmosphere?

Astronatix's SPT-100 lists the following: Stechkin electric rocket engine. Used on Meteor and Gals satellites. In Production. 1.35 kW Hall thruster. Thrust variable 2 to 20 kgf. ...
1
vote
0answers
49 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" ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

Why is the thrust to weight ratio of ion thrusters so low?

The more power we feed an ion thruster, the more thrust it generates. In theory, if we could give it, let's say 10 gigawatts of power, it could generate pretty high thrust. In the example I calculated ...
2
votes
1answer
226 views

In theory, how much thrust could an ion thruster generate?

Ion thrusters require a lot of electrical power, while their thrust is incredibly low. However, the more power is available, the more thrust can be achieved. What would be the theoretical limit to ...
2
votes
1answer
492 views

Delta-V of Starlink Satellites

The recently launched Starlink satellites are designed to use their HAL Ion thrusters to seek their own independent orbits, evade collisions, and de-orbit at the end of their lives. That's a lot of ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Which one of these Isp's for the Dawn spacecraft is wrong?

The Wikipedia article NASA Solar Technology Application Readiness says: The ions are accelerated through two fine grids with roughly a 1300 V difference between them for 2.3 kW operation, with a ...
1
vote
2answers
792 views

What performance specification would be lower for Krypton than for Xenon in Hall effect thrusters?

The Ars Technica article SpaceX scrubs first attempt to launch 60 Internet satellites [Updated] (found here) discusses the use of Krypton rather than Xenon in the Starlink Hall effect ion thrusters: ...
1
vote
0answers
129 views

What is the estimate price for small ion thrusters on cubesats?

I can't find much about price for ion thruster and I read from somewhere that most ion thruster are off the rack product. I just need the rough estimate price for a small ion thruster and the closest ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Can an Ion engine in tow assist in launch? [closed]

This question asks: How large a body could a probe with ion engines land on and launch from? and made me think could an ion engine that is the payload be mounted in a way to assist in the launch?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Could a cubesat propel itself to Mars?

I wrote the answer below to the question Could a cubesat be propelled to the moon? before realizing that it said Moon and I'd written it for Mars, so I've cloned that question and moved the answer ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

“Hybrid” ion engines?

If it's possible, could you use "hybrid" ion engines, maybe VASIMR, running on a mix of hydrogen, argon, and oxygen to exceed the velocities produced by any other ion engine? Could buckyballs also be ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Molecular propellant in ion engines

This question was prompted by discussions on this question. Can there be an advantage to using a molecular propellant in an ion engine, as opposed to noble gasses or iodine? (Although iodine actually ...
1
vote
2answers
381 views

What could go wrong if someone overpowered an ion engine?

The X-3 ion engine is the most powerful ion engine ever made, and puts out an astounding 5.4 N of force, using 103 kW. It's fuel is inert xenon gas, ionized and heated to a plasma. Now, what would ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Where do ion propulsion's ions go? Do they remain in the solar system or shoot out into interstellar space?

Writing this answer has got me thinking. You can estimate the exhaust velocity of an ion engine using $$\frac{v}{c} = \sqrt{\frac{2E}{m_0 c^2}}. $$ Choose $E=$ 100 keV and $m_0 c^2=$ 931 MeV times ...
8
votes
4answers
461 views

How to measure thrust of experimental ion engine

I have a science project about how different propellants affect the thrust of an Ion engine so I have 2 questions: 1 How can I measure the thrust of a diy ion engine ( technique or tool that I need ...
-1
votes
2answers
173 views

Is rail gun conversion possible? [closed]

can a rail gun be converted into a "High Velocity Pulse Engine",to be used as a "Jump Drive" to achieve light speed capabilities.
1
vote
1answer
199 views

Could a spacecraft be propelled by a 180 degree deflection of two charged particle beams?

I am wondering if the electrostatic deflection of two charged particle beams could create enough thrust, via the Lorentz Force, to propel a spacecraft. Please reference the picture below. This ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Can a solar mirror increase an ion engine 's output?

Could an ideal size solar sail work as a parabolic mirror to increase the out put of an ion engine? Would the extra weight encumber the ion engine nullifying the increases sunlight on the ion engine? ...
3
votes
3answers
546 views

Overcoming the speed of light thanks to ion thrusters

I am wondering if I could build an ion thruster, that is capable of exit velocity bigger that the speed of light. If I start with the equation for calculating exit velocity $v_e$ of a particle of ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

How does Accion System's TILE propulsion module compare to an equivalently sized Hall effect or an Ion thruster?

Accion systems claims that it's TILE propulsion module can be scaled up to match the performance of a Hall effect or Ion thruster minus the clunky tanks and propulsion management systems. This would ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Converting Discharge Voltage to Temperature? Hall Effect Thruster Calculation

Trying to follow a Hall Effect Thruster design process given in this video: Hall Effect Thruster Design Video In 25:59, there's a calculation in which the presenter takes discharge voltage and ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

What could be the proprietary propellant blend that “Apollo Fusion” claims to have developed for it's hall effect thrusters?

According to the info posted on the Apollo fusion website http://apollofusion.com/ , they claim to use a propellant blend that offers " 2-3 X more impulse per mass and volume" in comparison towards ...
1
vote
2answers
248 views

Ion thrusters trip time

Suppose we had a fully equipped nuclear powered ion thruster starship. If it had a constant rate of acceleration of 1g, taking into account the fact that at the half way point you would have to turn ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

Why are ion thruster grids separated by vacuum?

Or to rephrase: Why aren't the grids two sides of a single insulator? I'd see many upsides (mechanical and electrical properties separated, holes can't be misaligned, tuning of grid-capacitance, ...) ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

Ion thruster grid material

Initially asked in Physics StackExchange: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/436260/ion-thruster-grid-material The grids of ion thrusters have to withstand erosion by ion sputtering, heat ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Will an array of multiple ion engines still be more efficient than a single chemical engine?

I was just thinking the other day and got this idea out of my head. I'm not an aerospace expert or anything even close to it, so please understand even if this turns out to be a really basic question: ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

How large is a magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster? Are there any upcoming programs using it?

Magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters are an interesting proposed method for propulsion in space, but are there any upcoming programs that will use them? If not, might this be because there still serious and ...
2
votes
0answers
97 views

Is there a use case describing the need to perform xenon propellant offloading?

I can understand hydrazine offloading and the hazards associated, but I'm wondering if there is such a need for xenon offloading.
3
votes
1answer
210 views

Low-thrust spiraling to escape, is the flight path angle (gamma) at C3=0 always 39 degrees?

@MarkAdler's comment led me to ask Why would a slow spiral from a C3 of zero take about 2.4 times as much ΔV as an impulsive maneuver? which resulted in this tidy and efficient @MarkAdler answer which ...
4
votes
3answers
536 views

Can a solar sail be added to an ion engine and work better?

Has there been a concept vehicle that uses both solar sails and ion engines? Does the added mass of each system increase or reduce the spacecrafts total delta V capabilities? Inspired by S.F. As S.F....
6
votes
2answers
654 views

Is this description of the “dipole drive” and how it would work physically correct?

Comments in chat have noted the recent post in the Centauri Dreams blog titled The Dipole Drive: A New Concept for Space Propulsion. In contrast to the single positively charged screen employed by ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Going from LEO to lunar using only low-thrust ion propulsion - can it be done?

@SF.'s question What are the parameters of the new Iodine electrical rocket engine developed by RSC Energia? links to the short RT article 'Ten times cheaper': Russian space company testing iodine ...
6
votes
2answers
838 views

What ion engine is used by Hayabusa2?

Hayabusa2 is on its final approach to asteroid 162173 Ryugu, expected to arrive in July 2018. Like its predecessor, Hayabusa2 uses an ion thruster for deep-space propulsion, but I can't find any ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

Which way will the Neumann drive (on the ISS) point, what will be its maximum possible thrust?

After reading the answers to: Will the Neumann drive start testing aboard the ISS some time in 2018? What is Australia's Bartolomeo platform? When does it arrive at the ISS; when and where will it ...
5
votes
1answer
514 views

Will the Neumann drive start testing aboard the ISS some time in 2018?

The 2016 Daily Mail article Radical ion rocket engine that could 'get to Mars and back on one tank of fuel' set to be tested on the ISS says: Neumann Drive achieves more than 11,000 seconds of ...