Development of Hall Effect Thruster

University of Southampton

PhD 3 years Southampton, UK

Uploaded 1 Apr 2019

Job Description

Electric propulsion for small satellites is currently revolutionizing satellite engineering, for example electric propulsion is to be used to orbit raise the OneWeb constellation of satellites. Hall Effect Thrusters (HET’s) are often the best option for high performance electric propulsion, offering good thrust and specific impulse values. There is a strong interest in developing HET’s that utilize alternative propellants, especially so for micro-satellites (< 100 Kg) where cost and volume are particularly constrained.

This PhD scholarship will consist of developing a Hall Effect Thruster to operate on alternative propellants, focusing on zinc, magnesium and iodine. Good initial work has been completed on developing such a system at Southampton, including a prototype thruster and propellant delivery system. This PhD scholarship will extend the work towards an investigation of the thruster’s operational window, thrust measurements, and an understanding of the thruster operation through various probes.

The student will work under the supervision of Dr Charlie Ryan in the Astronautics group, and in collaboration with OHB Sweden (Sweden's leading space satellite company).

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