Presented by the University of Michigan

Plasmas for Spacecraft: The X2 Hall thruster firing in dual channel mode

Feb 23, 2018

Category: Space

Author: Sarah Cusson , University of Michigan


Hall thrusters are plasma propulsion devices that use crossed electric and magnetic fields to accelerate ions which produce the force that accelerates the spacecraft. Nested Hall thrusters were developed by the University of Michigan, in conjunction with NASA and Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), as a means of scaling the devices to high power for cargo and human missions to Mars. Here, we see the X2, a two channel Hall thruster, firing with both channels at 4.5 kW.


Cusson, S., Dale, E., Gallimore, A., Investigation of Channel Interactions in a Nested Hall Thruster Part II: Probes and Performance ", 52nd AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 25-27, 2016.


The Plasma Picture of the Day (PPoD) project is hosted by the University of Michigan and supported by the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering (MIPSE), the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems (WIMS2), and the DOE Center for Predictive Control of Plasma Kinetics.

Acknowledgement: Dr. Zhehui (Jeff) Wang, Los Alamos National Laboratory