SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-278 (AirForce)
Title:  High Efficiency Multi-Mode Power Processing Units for Hall Effect Thrusters
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Sensors, Electronics, Space Platforms

 The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  STATEMENT OF INTENT: Improve Hall Thruster Efficiency, a very high priority technology for this PEO
  Objective:  Investigate advancements required to achieve high efficiency and low specific mass Hall effect thruster power processing unit operations over extended performance regimes.
  Description:  Hall effect thruster electric propulsion systems will soon transition to operational military satellite use [1]. The best of these state-of-the-art systems have power processing units with a specific mass of 3kg/kW and anode converter efficiencies of 94% at an operating power of 4.5kW [2]. Future Air Force missions envision utilizing Hall effect thrusters that are operable over a broad performance regime in order to enable a single propulsion system to fill multiple mission roles. However, current power processing units achieve high efficiencies only at a few discreet operating points. Advanced topologies and components [3] should be investigated to develop a Hall effect thruster power processing unit with a specific mass and anode converter efficiency equal (or superior) to the state-of-the-art over a range of output currents and voltages that enable thruster-specific impulses ranging from approximately 1,000 to 3,000 seconds at a constant nominal output power of 10 kW.

  PHASE I: Design a Hall effect thruster anode converter capable of operating at greater than or equal to 94% efficiency over a specific impulse range of 1,000 to 3,000 seconds with a specific mass of 3 kg/kW or less. Show performance through simulation or other analytical means. Identify the innovation risks.
  
  PHASE II: Build and demonstrate a breadboard converter based on the Phase I design. Simulated Hall thruster loads are acceptable. Demonstrations at subscale power levels are acceptable provided the scalability of the system is shown. Commercial components are acceptable, but a path to space qualification must be described.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Variable thrust will increase the utility of Hall thrusters for military satellite applications and would meet the stated propulsion goals for the Spiral 2 TSAT program. Commercial application: Commercial communications satellites and NASA interplanetary missions could use this technology.

  References:  1. “Aerojet Awarded $8.6 Million Contract to Build Hall Thruster Propulsion Subsystem for Advanced EHF,” Aerojet News Release, http://www.aerojet.com/program/news/nr_060403_aerojet_awarded_hall_thruster_contract.htm?program_ID=63, June 4, 2003. 2. DeGrys, K., et al., “4.5 kW Hall Thruster System Qualification Status,” 41st AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, AIAA Paper No. 2005-3682, July 2005. 3. Weimer, J.A., “High Temperature Power Electronics for the More Electric Aircraft,” IMAPS International High Temperature Electronics Conference 2004, www.impas.org/hitec/weimer.pdf, May 20 2004.

Keywords:  power processing unit, Hall thruster, electric propulsion power, spacecraft

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #3: Symposium proceedings are available to members through http://www.imaps.org/hitec/
Ref #3: HT Pwr Elec for MEA.pdf
Ref #3: Symposium proceedings are available to members through http://www.imaps.org/hitec/
Ref #3: HT Pwr Elec for MEA.pdf

Questions and Answers:
Q: 1. Over what power, current, and voltage range do you expect this 10kW system to operate?

2. Should we assume the same minimum power (2kW) as the 4.5kW unit, or the same percentage operating range (44-100% => 4.4kW to 10kW)?

3. Should we assume the same 150-400 V output voltage operating range, with the current spec increased to achieve 10kW?
A: 1. The PPU should be capable of operating over a 5:1 power range – 10kW to 2 kW. The voltage range of interest corresponds to specific impulse values of 1000 to 3000 sec – 100 V to 800 V. The current range should allow operation between 100 V and 800 V at power levels ranging from 2 kW to 10 kW.

2. PPU power range is 5:1 – 2 kW minimum, 10 kW maximum.

3. The voltage output range should correspond to specific impulse values of interest 1000 to 3000 sec – 100V to 800 V.
Q: 1. At the power level end points (10kW & 2kW), what specific impulse/voltage ranges do you want to operate at?

2. Do you require full 1000 to 3000 sec operation at 10kW and full 1000 to 3000 sec operation at 2kW?

3. Specifically, at 10kW what is the range of specific impulse required?
A: The answer to all three questions is that the PPU should operate over the entire specific impulse/voltage range (1000-3000 sec) at all power levels (2-10 kW).
Q: 1. Over what power, current, and voltage range do you expect this 10kW system to operate?

2. Should we assume the same minimum power (2kW) as the 4.5kW unit, or the same percentage operating range (44-100% => 4.4kW to 10kW)?

3. Should we assume the same 150-400 V output voltage operating range, with the current spec increased to achieve 10kW?
A: 1. The PPU should be capable of operating over a 5:1 power range – 10kW to 2 kW. The voltage range of interest corresponds to specific impulse values of 1000 to 3000 sec – 100 V to 800 V. The current range should allow operation between 100 V and 800 V at power levels ranging from 2 kW to 10 kW.

2. PPU power range is 5:1 – 2 kW minimum, 10 kW maximum.

3. The voltage output range should correspond to specific impulse values of interest 1000 to 3000 sec – 100V to 800 V.
Q: 1. At the power level end points (10kW & 2kW), what specific impulse/voltage ranges do you want to operate at?

2. Do you require full 1000 to 3000 sec operation at 10kW and full 1000 to 3000 sec operation at 2kW?

3. Specifically, at 10kW what is the range of specific impulse required?
A: The answer to all three questions is that the PPU should operate over the entire specific impulse/voltage range (1000-3000 sec) at all power levels (2-10 kW).

Record: of