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Project Hall-E

Ion Propulsion is a research and development project with the goal of advancing KXR’s electric propulsion capabilities.


This year, the team is developing their first Hall-Effect Thruster, which harnesses magnetic fields and utilizes the

relationship between changing electric and magnetic fields, E x B, to produce thrust. This is in place of RF energy and an oppositely charged plate, as was used last year. The thruster will be fueled by Argon and is targeted to produce 15 mN of thrust.

Screenshot 2023-11-25 161132.png
I. G. Mikellides, I. Katz, D. M. Goebel, and J. E. Polk, "Hollow cathode theory and experiment. II. A two-dimensional theoretical model of the emitter region," J. Appl. Phys. 98, 113303 (2005)

a Hall effect thruster uses magnets to create a Hall current and circulate electrons through the channel. They collide with the propellant gas, Argon in our case, and ionize it. The ionized gas is accelerated radially and outward by an electric field to create thrust.


Our thruster has an annular channel (ring shape) with electromagnets surrounding it to create a magnetic field and a cathode and anode to create the Hall current. Ion thrusters like this usually have very low thrust and very low gas pressure, but high efficiency and long lifespans, and are used for smaller or longer-period adjustments.


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