The FEEP thruster is presently considered for several scientific missions requiring micrnnewton-level thrust and very accurate thrust modulation capability. In particular, FEEP is baselined for the drag-free control of LISA, the multi-spacecraft gravitational wave antenna included as a Cornerstone mission in the ESA Horizon 2000 Plus Pmgramme. Recently, the performance of a family of FEEP emitters operating in the thrust range of the LISA drag-free control system (1-100 microN) was investigated at Centrospazio under ESA funding. Performed tests included a detailed analysis of the thruster dynamic response to voltage variations, together with stability and resolution investigations. These were the first tests of this kind ever made on FEEP thrusters. Several unforeseen features of FEEP operation were highlighted, most notably the fact that the thruster response presents considerable overshoot and settling time in the 1-20 microN lhrust range. This phenomenon is almost absent at higher thrust levels. As a result of this work, the first systematic collection of FEEP performance data was gathered. This is an important step towards the final development of an unique mlcronewton-level thruster.

Experimental Characterization of FEEP Emitters

MARCUCCIO, SALVO;ANDRENUCCI, MARIANO
1997

Abstract

The FEEP thruster is presently considered for several scientific missions requiring micrnnewton-level thrust and very accurate thrust modulation capability. In particular, FEEP is baselined for the drag-free control of LISA, the multi-spacecraft gravitational wave antenna included as a Cornerstone mission in the ESA Horizon 2000 Plus Pmgramme. Recently, the performance of a family of FEEP emitters operating in the thrust range of the LISA drag-free control system (1-100 microN) was investigated at Centrospazio under ESA funding. Performed tests included a detailed analysis of the thruster dynamic response to voltage variations, together with stability and resolution investigations. These were the first tests of this kind ever made on FEEP thrusters. Several unforeseen features of FEEP operation were highlighted, most notably the fact that the thruster response presents considerable overshoot and settling time in the 1-20 microN lhrust range. This phenomenon is almost absent at higher thrust levels. As a result of this work, the first systematic collection of FEEP performance data was gathered. This is an important step towards the final development of an unique mlcronewton-level thruster.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/254464
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