Deep space is the new frontier for human exploration, with Moon and Mars identified as fundamental targets. Improving in-space transportation capabilities has been recognized as one of the critical enabler for sustainable and affordable space programs in Earth proximity and beyond. Envisioning the presence of future deep space infrastructures, cargo transferring becomes a major issue that can benefit from improvements in in-space propulsion technology. Electric propulsion could represent the turning point, thanks to the combination of new system architectures and technology advancements, e.g. cluster architecture and magnetic shielding, and improved capability of on-board power generation. High-power Hall Thrusters are considered the most promising solution for future space exploration, thanks to a favourable thrust to power ratio, higher than Gridded Ion Engines. Reusable platforms, based on Hall Thrusters, could represent a valid alternative to chemical-propelled spacecraft. These systems could be exploited to support human presence in deep space, delivering life support items and providing on-orbit servicing capabilities. In this paper, the typical mission analysis tools have been exploited to analyse the selected scenarios. The analysis highlights possible advantages achievable adopting high-power Hall Thrusters on board reusable platforms. Since the design of these spacecraft envisions the adoption of a 20 kW-class Hall Thruster string, the mass and power budgets are obtained for those subsystems that are most affected by this critical technology. Then, the feasibility of each scenario is assessed considering the needs defined not only by the traffic plan, in terms of loading/unloading cargo and transfer duration, but also by the peculiar mission and physical constraints. Last, the different platform design solutions are compared with respect to their electric propulsion configurations, in order to identify the possible commonalities in terms of architecture and technology, in line with the current trend of modularity and affordability.

Deep space transportation enhanced by 20 kW-Class Hall Thrusters / Paissoni, C. A.; Viola, N.; Mammarella, M.; Andreussi, T.; Rossodivita, A.; Saccoccia, G.. - In: ACTA ASTRONAUTICA. - ISSN 0094-5765. - 171:(2020), pp. 83-96. [10.1016/j.actaastro.2020.02.012]

Deep space transportation enhanced by 20 kW-Class Hall Thrusters

Paissoni C. A.;Viola N.;Mammarella M.;
2020

Abstract

Deep space is the new frontier for human exploration, with Moon and Mars identified as fundamental targets. Improving in-space transportation capabilities has been recognized as one of the critical enabler for sustainable and affordable space programs in Earth proximity and beyond. Envisioning the presence of future deep space infrastructures, cargo transferring becomes a major issue that can benefit from improvements in in-space propulsion technology. Electric propulsion could represent the turning point, thanks to the combination of new system architectures and technology advancements, e.g. cluster architecture and magnetic shielding, and improved capability of on-board power generation. High-power Hall Thrusters are considered the most promising solution for future space exploration, thanks to a favourable thrust to power ratio, higher than Gridded Ion Engines. Reusable platforms, based on Hall Thrusters, could represent a valid alternative to chemical-propelled spacecraft. These systems could be exploited to support human presence in deep space, delivering life support items and providing on-orbit servicing capabilities. In this paper, the typical mission analysis tools have been exploited to analyse the selected scenarios. The analysis highlights possible advantages achievable adopting high-power Hall Thrusters on board reusable platforms. Since the design of these spacecraft envisions the adoption of a 20 kW-class Hall Thruster string, the mass and power budgets are obtained for those subsystems that are most affected by this critical technology. Then, the feasibility of each scenario is assessed considering the needs defined not only by the traffic plan, in terms of loading/unloading cargo and transfer duration, but also by the peculiar mission and physical constraints. Last, the different platform design solutions are compared with respect to their electric propulsion configurations, in order to identify the possible commonalities in terms of architecture and technology, in line with the current trend of modularity and affordability.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2838912