New Thruster Design Increases Efficiency for Future Spaceflight

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 11:32 in Physics & Chemistry

Hall thrusters are used in earth-orbiting satellites and show promise to propel robotic spacecraft long distances, and the plasma ejected from the exhaust end of the thruster can deliver great speeds. Cylindrically-shaped Hall thrusters lend themselves to miniaturization and have a smaller surface-to-volume ratio that prevents erosion of the thruster channel. Investigators in China have developed a new design for CHTs that significantly increases thrust; they report their work in this week's Physics of Plasmas.

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