Development of ion thruster IT-500*
SSC FSUE “Keldysh Research Center”, Moscow 125438, Russia
Received: 14 October 2016
Received in final form: 2 March 2017
Published online: 23 May 2017
A high-power ion thruster IT-500 was designed, manufactured and tested at Keldysh Research Center within a transport-power module project. This module is being designed to perform near-Earth space and interplanetary transport missions. In its nominal operation mode, IT-500 provides thrust in the range from 375 to 750 mN at specific impulse of 70 000 m/s and thrust efficiency of 0.75. Due to a high cost of the experimental testing of a large thruster, the emphasis was placed on the numerical optimization of the thruster design. The thruster completed performance tests and a 300 h wear test. The output characteristics of the thruster, obtained during the tests, confirmed the correctness of the provisional numerical optimization. IT-500 design, performance, and validation of the design approaches are discussed in this paper.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2017