Aerojet Rocketdyne Successfully Demonstrates Advanced Electric Propulsion Capabilities for Future Space Exploration
This most recent test focused on the power elements of the AEPS Hall thruster string: the discharge supply unit (DSU) and the power processing unit (PPU). The test proved the system’s ability to successfully convert power at a high efficiency level, producing minimal waste heat. The early integrated systems test combined a breadboard AEPS PPU and a DSU with a
“By staying on the cutting edge of propulsion technology, we have positioned ourselves for a major role not only in getting back to the Moon, but also in any future initiative to send people to Mars,” said
“Our AEPS discharge supply unit performed exceptionally, yielding significant conversion efficiency improvements important for future demanding missions,” Drake continued. “These results are a testament to the
With the early systems integration test in the books, the team will move into the design finalization and verification phase leading up to the critical design review (CDR), in which the design will be finalized and cleared for production.
The AEPS thrusters could be used on the power and propulsion element of NASA’s Gateway, the agency’s lunar orbiting outpost for robotic and human exploration operations in deep space. Built with commercial partners, the power and propulsion element will demonstrate 50-kW class solar electric propulsion to support exploration on and near the Moon, and beyond, including Mars.
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.