Plasma Propulsion for Space Applications – Technological Trends

Dr. Dan Lev
Space Propulsion Systems Dept.
Rafael - Advanced Defense Systems

In the past two decades, plasma propulsion for space applications has seen an increasing use for all types of satellites, from hefty GEO communications satellites, through tiny cubesats and to deep space missions. In particular, thanks to the propellant mass savings associated with using plasma propulsion, it is the leading candidate for communications satellite mega-constellations in low earth orbit, such as those proposed by SpaceX and OneWeb. In addition, the financial incentives in employing efficient plasma thrusters drove both industry and academia to develop new types of plasma thrusters. To date, a myriad of technological subclasses of plasma propulsion exist, each at a different Technological Readiness Level (TRL).

The presentation will cover the basic aspects of plasma propulsion and present its physical concepts. The presentation will then focus on current technological trends with their implementation in contemporary space missions. Lastly, the presentation will briefly present current developments at Rafael, all focused on Hall thruster based propulsion systems.

The talk will be given in English

Wed, 06-11-2019, 16:30 (Gathering at 16:00)

Classroom 165, ground floor, Library, Aerospace Eng.

Light refreshments will be served before the lecture

Plasma Propulsion for Space Applications – Technological Trends