Accession Number:

ADA415916

Title:

High Power Orbit Transfer Vehicle

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 Oct 2000-19 Jun 2002

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA SPACE AND MISSILE PROPULSION DIV

Report Date:

2003-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

216.0

Abstract:

The Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorates Spacecraft Propulsion Branch has carried out an in-house propulsion trade study and contracted for two other propulsion design studies from Virginia Tech University and Aerophysics, Inc. to examine propulsion requirements for a high-power orbit transfer vehicle using thin-film voltaic solar array technologies under development by the Space Vehicles Directorate dubbed PowerSail. The in-house study assumed a 100-kilowatt array and performed the most in-depth analysis of the forces perturbing the array and of propulsion options to counteract these forces. The dominant propulsion requirements on PowerSail will be to counter the effects of radiation pressure and atmospheric drag. The thruster options studied included the 100-watt Resistojet, low-power Arcjet, 200-watt Hall thruster, small-ion engine, pulsed-plasma thruster, AFRL micro-PPT, colloid thruster, and the 60-watt FEEP. This study recommended a combination of the Busek BHT-200 Hall thruster and the AFRL MicroPPT for a near-term mission. The Virginia Tech University design study looked at a 50-kilowatt array and provided a more comprehensive look at the entire spacecraft system. They chose to employ pulsed-plasma thrusters to meet their propulsion needs, thus minimizing complexity and integration issues rather than system mass. Aerophysics, Inc., developed a dynamic optimization code to analyze alternatives for propulsion on a 500-kilowatt array. They investigated seven canonical electric propulsion technologies Teflon TM pulsed-plasma thruster, hydrazine Resistojet, hydrazine Arcjet, ammonia Arcjet, hydrogen Arcjet, xenon Hall thruster, and xenon ion engine. The performance specifications for each technology, based on numerous studies, are provided. Based on this code, the optimal propulsion system was determined to be a set of notional low-power ion engines. 43 tables, 121 figures

Subject Categories:

  • Electric and Ion Propulsion
  • Astronautics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE