Roll no – 16
• Chemical thrusters such as fuels can’t give much power for a long
• Its is unreliable , that it needs frequent refueling
• Solar energy is abundantly available in space, but cant utilize it
• Fast moving shuttles are needed
• A sustainable energy conversion system have to find out
Efficient use of fuel and electrical power
enables modern space craft to travel more
Can provide higher spacecraft top speeds
than any other rocket currently available.
Cheaper and faster than any other
What is an ion ?
• Ion is simply an atom or molecule that is
• Ionization is the process of charging an atom
• A gas is considered as ionized when some or all
atoms are converted to ion
• Plasma is known as the fourth state and in that
state gas is neutral
• It has the some properties of gas , but affected
with magnetic and electrical properties
• The mechanism uses charged particles to
propel aircrafts forward
• Operation relies on charge to mass ratio of
• Thomason's work with cathode ray tube
• A cathode filament in a chamber with inert
How does it works?
• The gases are charged by filament
• Accelerated by the grid downstream
• Electrons are collected through a
• The second grid accelerates the ion
Layout of a thruster
Propellant at three
Anodes placed in
Xenon is an inert gas and thus
corrosion can be avoided
First Ionization energy of xenon is .125eV/atom
Have high charge to mass ratio. (7.14 x 10^5 coul/kg)
Electrostatic ion thrust
Hall effect thruster
High power electric propulsion
Dual stage 4- grid
Electrodeless plasma thruster
ELECTROSTATIC ION THRUST
Made by Hughes space division
Owned by Boeing corp.
Uses xenon ions
Acceleration of 30km/s
Ten times faster than chemical rockets
HALL EFFECT THRUSTER
Known as plasma thruster
Uses hall effect to capture
Soviet model was successful
No need of external energy source
Uses microwaves and magnetic field for
Effective for low changing density gases
NASA believes by removing the cathode
and equalizer , mean life can increased
Projected to use in Jupiter missions .
Acceleration of 38km/s^2
Two stages of acceleration
Low wastage of energy
It can attain 210 km/s
It’s a contribution of European space
Dual stage 4- grid
Similar to HET
EPT doesn’t have an electrode to collect electrons.
Reduces failure rate and there are no mechanical part in
Because the ion is accelerated by magnetic field , no
neutralizer is used.
Energy needed for thruster is minimum
This increases efficiency up to 91%
•first design ion engines
at rear ends
•Maximum carriage of
•Have a speed of
More streamlined body
Ion thruster placed below
Solar panels are placed above the shuttle
Achievement of maximum solar power
The design allows more speed, but low
Use of liquid nitrogen
Passed through porous in to system
Cool down the tile and adhesives
We need to improve the techniques
New adhesives have to be implemented
Storage of liquid nitrogen.
Ion drive in some form or fashion will be the
future of space exploration.
It took 30 years for the development of idea
The new engine by nasa, says it can take
humans to mars in 39 days
Can think about vehicles in earth with ion
engine as a booster
^ Electric Spacecraft Propulsion, Electric versus Chemical Propulsion, ESA Science & Technology
^ a b E. Y. Choueiri. "A Critical History of Electric Propulsion: The First 50 Years (1906–1956)".
^ Mark Wright, April 6, 1999, science.nasa.gov, Ion Propulsion 50 years in the making
^ "Robert H. Goddard: American Rocket Pioneer". Smithsonian Scrapbook. Smithsonian
Institution Archives. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
^ a b "Innovative Engines - Glenn Ion Propulsion Research Tames the Challenges of 21st
Century Space Travel". Retrieved 2007-11-19.
^ (Russian) "Native Electric Propulsion Engines Today" (7). Novosti Kosmonavtiki. 1999.
Archived from the original on 6 June 2011.
^ a b c d Shiga, David (2007-09-28). "Next-generation ion engine sets new thrust record".
NewScientist. Retrieved 2011-02-02.
^ "ESA and ANU make space propulsion breakthrough" (Press release). ESA. 2006-01-11.
^ ANU Space Plasma, Power & Propulsion Group (SP3) (2006-12-06). "ANU and ESA make space
propulsion breakthrough". DS4G Web Story. The Australian National University. Archived from
the original on 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
^ Oleson, S. R., & Sankovic, J. M. "Advanced Hall Electric Propulsion for Future In-Space
Transportation". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
^ "FEEP - Field Emission Electric Propulsion". Retrieved 2012-04-27.
^ a b c Marcuccio, S., et al. "Experimental Performance of Field Emission Microthrusters".
^ ElectroHydroDynamic Thrusters (EHDT), RMCybernetics.
The Daily Galaxy: NASA Trumps Star Trek: Ion
Drive Live! (April 13, 2009)
The Daily Galaxy: The Ultimate Space Gadget:
NASA's Ion Drive Live! (July 7, 2009)
Mason, L. (2000, April). 4.5-kW Hall Effect
Thruster Evaluated. Retrieved December 13,
430mason.html/Hall Effect. (2006, December
12). Retrieved December 13,2006, from
Hall Thruster?. (n.d.).