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Open AccessReview

A Review of Low-Power Electric Propulsion Research at the Space Propulsion Centre Singapore

1
Plasma Sources and Applications Centre/Space Propulsion Centre, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637616, Singapore
2
Center for Space Propulsion and Gravitational Universe (SPaGU), Hang Zhou Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hang Zhou 310024, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Aerospace 2020, 7(6), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7060067
Received: 20 April 2020 / Revised: 10 May 2020 / Accepted: 26 May 2020 / Published: 28 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Propulsion)
The age of space electric propulsion arrived and found the space exploration endeavors at a paradigm shift in the context of new space. Mega-constellations of small satellites on low-Earth orbit (LEO) are proposed by many emerging commercial actors. Naturally, the boom in the small satellite market drives the necessity of propulsion systems that are both power and fuel efficient and accommodate small form-factors. Most of the existing electric propulsion technologies have reached the maturity level and can be the prime choices to enable mission versatility for small satellite platforms in Earth orbit and beyond. At the Plasma Sources and Applications Centre/Space Propulsion Centre (PSAC/SPC) Singapore, a continuous effort was dedicated to the development of low-power electric propulsion systems that can meet the small satellites market requirements. This review presents the recent progress in the field of electric propulsion at PSAC/SPC Singapore, from Hall thrusters and thermionic cathodes research to more ambitious devices such as the rotamak-like plasma thruster. On top of that, a review of the existing vacuum facilities and plasma diagnostics used for electric propulsion testing and characterization is included in the present research. View Full-Text
Keywords: electric propulsion; Hall thruster; thermionic cathodes; vacuum facility; plasma diagnostics; rotamak electric propulsion; Hall thruster; thermionic cathodes; vacuum facility; plasma diagnostics; rotamak
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Potrivitu, G.-C.; Sun, Y.; Rohaizat, M.W.A.; Cherkun, O.; Xu, L.; Huang, S.; Xu, S. A Review of Low-Power Electric Propulsion Research at the Space Propulsion Centre Singapore. Aerospace 2020, 7, 67.

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