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Re: ion propulsion

On Friday 13 July 2001 19:36, Estes Wayne-W10191 wrote:
> The beauty of ion propulsion is that it is highly efficient,
> electric-powered, and uses inert Xenon gas as the ion source.  It seems
> like this might be a good replacement for the arcjet motor if sufficient
> electrical power is available (probably the biggest obstacle).

    The Arcjet engine was already designed with this same purpose in mind. 
The Arcjet is way more efficent than hydrazine thrusters, even if the thrust 
is as low as 100mN. Moreover the power that AO40 would expend for "hot" 
Arcjet operation is probably also enough for powering a small ion thruster.

  But there are several other types of electric propulsion based on similar 
concepts, for example check FEEP -- Field Emission Electric Propulsion. This 
one can be very useful for the type of job the Arcjet was supposed to do on 
AO40, and is very small and very safe - no high pressure tanks!
  I really think this is one that the amateur satellite programs should 
include for testing on future birds! You can see it at:


  You can also read about other very interesting types of electric propulsion 



  73 de CT3KD


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