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Aerospace Corporation Tests Electric Satellite Thrusters from Busek

By | November 18, 2014
      Busek electric thruster BHT-1500

      Busek’s BHT-1500 Hall Effect Thruster. Photo: Busek

      [Via Satellite 11-18-2014] The Aerospace Corporation has tested Busek Co.’s BHT-1500 Hall Effect Thruster, used for electric propulsion of satellites. The nonprofit found the thruster to be largely unaffected by test facility pressure. According to Busek, the BHT-1500’s design enables it to operate with higher efficiency in the high-vacuum conditions of space.

      “The BHT-1500’s superior performance translates to more than 10 percent in propellant savings versus other systems, without sacrificing high thrust and efficiency. For a geostationary all-electric satellite, that means we can eliminate more than 100 kilograms of propellant from the spacecraft,” said Vlad Hruby, president of Busek.

      Busek’s BHT-1500 thruster system uses a virtual magnetic field wall to minimize erosion. During orbit-raising mode, the thruster produces more than 120 milliNewtons (mN) of thrust with 1,700 seconds total specific impulse (Isp) at 1,800 Watts of power. When used for station keeping, the thruster produces more than 100 mN thrust and 1,900 seconds Isp.