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Design and Performance Measurements of a long channel Hall thruster for air breathing electric propulsion

Francesco Marchioni

Design and Performance Measurements of a long channel Hall thruster for air breathing electric propulsion.

Rel. Lorenzo Casalino. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale, 2020

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Orbiting at extreme low altitudes represent both a great opportunity and an extreme challenge. Missions below 300 kilometers are characterized by an atmosphere too dense for non-propelled satellite orbit, yet not dense enough for conventional jet engines. These Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO) provide new and unexplored market opportunities. Such missions however, would face the inevitable drag associated with the residual atmosphere and non-propelled orbits would rapidly decay, it is evident that new technologies must be engineered in order to access these new profitable altitudes. The concept of Air-Breathing (AB) electric propulsion allows dedicated systems to orbit at VLEO altitudes for prolonged periods through continuous drag compensation. Continuous thrust would represent an unfeasibly big propellant tank, for such reason this task is achieved via a specifically designed system composed of an air intake and an electric thruster. This research has concentrated on the workings of the thruster, optimizing its performance to molecular propellants present in the atmosphere. Throughout this study, the possibility and limitations of using molecular propellants for Hall thrusters shall be explored. Through dedicated models the performance and behaviour of these propellants will be examined and simulated. As a result of the simulations, specific modifications aimed at optimizing the performance of Hall thrusters on these propellants shall be devised, designed and ultimately tested. The per- formance of the new modified Hall thruster shall be measured in order to explore the feasibility of the air-breathing electric propulsion concept.

Relators: Lorenzo Casalino
Academic year: 2019/20
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 130
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-20 - AEROSPATIAL AND ASTRONAUTIC ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: Stanford University (STATI UNITI D'AMERICA)
Aziende collaboratrici: Stanford University
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/14618
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