Hall-effect thrusters (HET) are the most flown type of electric propulsion. At URA, we are developing a family of Hall-effect thrusters that operate on either oxygen (WETHET) or water (AquaHET). These systems will offer an order of magnitude price reduction when compared to existing Hall-effect thrusters on the market, utilise a fully European supply chain, and significantly increase the specific impulse when compared to the state-of-the-art.
The Hall-effect thrusters under development at URA Thrusters use a typical HET architecture consisting of the following subsystems:
The thrusters under development are designed to suit a plug-and-play methodology, as well as utilisation of common parts with ICE, enabling further cost reductions.
Hall-effect thruster utilise a magnetic field to limit electron movement within the thruster head allowing for high ionisation rates and efficiency. Current HETs are limited by the use of Xenon and Krypton, two costly gases. URA in collaboration with a range of partners, are developing the full system architecture of Hall-effect thrusters designed from the ground up to use oxygen / hydrogen for the anode / cathode respectively. This technology also utilises a range of developments from the ICE product family including electrolysers ad water tanks.
|Thruster Head||Thrust (mN)||Isp (s)||Power (W)||Propellant||Market Entry|
Schwertheim A, Knoll A, 2021, PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISATION OF THE WATER ELECTROLYSIS HALL EFFECT THRUSTER (WET-HET) USING DIRECT THRUST MEASUREMENTS, SPACE PROPULSION 2020+1.
Schwertheim A, Knoll A, 2022, Low power thrust measurements of the water electrolysis Hall effect thruster, CEAS Space Journal, Vol: 14, Pages: 3-17.