Dual-Stage 4-Grid

Dual-Stage 4-Grid

Dual-Stage 4-Grid (DS4G) is an electrostatic ion thruster currently under development by the European Space Agency, in collaboration with the Australian National University.

A single 20 cm diameter 4-grid ion thruster could operate at 250kW power to produce a 2.5N thrust with a specific impulse of 19,300s and an exhaust velocity of 210km/s using Xenon propellant.[1] These high power and thrust densities allow the maximum attainable power for gridded ion engines to be extended from 40 kW of the present day, to hundreds of kW. This aspect, in combination with the very high specific impulse and a lightweight power system, makes them especially suitable for large, high delta-V future missions.[2]

Similar to the Vasimr thruster, the limiting factor is the availability of an advanced power supply.

References

  1. ^ [1] THE INNOVATIVE DUAL-STAGE 4-GRID ION THRUSTER CONCEPT – THEORY AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS
  2. ^ [2] ibid.

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