Accession Number:

ADA622305

Title:

The Air Force Research Laboratory's In-Space Propulsion Program

Descriptive Note:

Technical paper Jan-Feb 2015

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA AEROSPACE SYSTEMS DIRECTORATE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2015-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

27.0

Abstract:

The Air Force Research Laboratorys In-Space Propulsion Branch AFRLRQRS has primary responsibility for development and maturation of spacecraft propulsion technologies in support of future Air Force missions. AFRL has active research programs in both advanced chemical propulsion and electric propulsion. Advanced chemical propulsion programs are developing thrusters that operate on a class of non-toxic, energetic propellants that offer performance surpassing that of state-of-the-art hydrazine systems. AFRLs electric propulsion efforts are focused on sustainment of Hall effect thruster technology and development of higher-performing, lower-mass alternatives such as electrosprays and field reverse configuration thrusters. Fundamental relations showing the influence of key technology metrics such as mass and specific impulse on mission-level performance are presented to illustrate the rationale behind AFRLs technology development strategy.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric and Ion Propulsion
  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE