The Application and Final Design of an Ion Thruster Simulator.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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A study of the design, development and application of a mercury ion thruster performance simulator is presented. Although based on previous successful experimental work on the simulation of the discharge mechanism and ion beam extraction characteristics of the UK T4 thruster, the design has been considerably extended to accuratly represent all aspects of thruster operation relevant to station-keeping missions. These functions include all relevant time-dependent parameters associated with thruster warm-up during the starting sequence and the appropriate, performance related, loading of the various thruster power supplies. Its application is discussed in terms of satisfying a pressing requirement for a pre-launch check-out facility, when thruster operation is not practicable. It provides an independent means of assessing both the flight status of the thruster power processing and sequencing electronics and possible interactions with other spacecraft sub-systems. Author
- Electric and Ion Propulsion