DS1 Ion Engine Diagram



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DS1 Ion Engine Diagram. Credit: NASA.

Retrieved from NASA - DS1: How the Ion Engine Works by NASA Glenn Research Center on 2006-07-24.

Caption from the source webpage:

The ion propulsion system (IPS), provided by NSTAR (NASA SEP Technology Application Readiness), uses a hollow cathode to produce electrons to collisionally ionize xenon. The Xe+ is electrostatically accelerated through a potential of up to 1280 V and emitted from the 30-cm thruster through a molybdenum grid. A separate electron beam is emitted to produce a neutral plasma beam. The power processing unit (PPU) of the IPS can accept as much as 2.5 kW, corresponding to a peak thruster operating power of 2.3 kW and a thrust of 92 mN. Throttling is achieved by balancing thruster and Xe feed system parameters at lower power levels, and at the lowest thruster power, 500 W, the thrust is 20 mN. The specific impulse decreases from 3100 s at high power to 1900 s at the minimum throttle level.


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