A Survey of Electric Propulsion Research and Development in the UK.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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Despite increased concentration of resources in certain areas, electric propulsion activities in the UK still cover a wide field. Extensive work continues in basic physics and technology, and several thrusters are being studied in detail. The greatest effort is devoted to the RAECulham T4 ion thruster, which is intended for the North-South station-keeping role on geostationary communications satellites. The City University is investigating fundamental processes in ion thrusters, and colloid devices continue to be studied at Southampton University. The Culham Laboratory is working on field-emission thrusters under ESTEC sponsorship. Resistojets have been studied recently at the RAE, Southampton and Oxford Universities, and RPE, Westcott. However, emphasis is now on electrothermal hydrazine thrusters, particularly at HSD and the RAE, where gas plenum systems and augmented devices are also being studied. Work on mission analysis has continued at Westcott and Southampton.
- Electric and Ion Propulsion
- Unmanned Spacecraft