Re: [gundam] Civilian Space Travel

Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 17:02:05 -0700 (MST)

> We are at a point in technology today that allows anything to be researched,
> engineered, and built, as long as proper funding is available. No dough, no

  I used to believe that, but there are certain things that simply cannot
be achieved with current theory and technology.

> much the world is willing the spend on it. Technology today is directly
> proportional to the amount of money pumped into it. New technology equals

  If that was _really_ true how come we're still no closer to a cure for
AIDs or, say, Cancer than we were 10 years ago? There are some things
money can't buy, for everything else, there's....

> > No. It's effectively a much more powerful Ion-like engine of some type,
> > I don't recall the details. What I do recall is that it produces a
> This Hall-Effect drive sounds really neat. If you can find more on it, and
> some links, I would be very grateful.

  Here you go! This site's got some great pictures too:

For the HTTP-impaired, here is a copy of the text:
In free electron drift thrusters, an intense current discharge is
generated within an annular chamber by the so-called "Hall effect".
Propellant particles are ionized by this discharge and accelerated along
an axial electric field to high exhaust velocities. Industrial development
of this technology, originated in the former USSR, is now led by major
European and USA propulsion companies. As a research laboratory,
Centrospazio carries out basic research activities in this sector aimed at
improving understanding of the physical processes involved.

A prototype thruster has been designed, built and tested. Operated with Xe
propellant, this thruster has demonstrated satisfactory performance at 54
mN thrust level with a specific impulse of about 2000 s.

Here's another:

- Latest Developments -

                             Hall Current Thruster Systems

                             The Hall Current Thruster (HCT) is a plasma
thruster operating on gaseous xenon
                             propellant. Its performance of 1500-1800
seconds of specific impulse and 50% efficiency
                             make it nearly ideal for many earth orbital
propulsion requirements including
                             North-South stationkeeping and orbit
insertion maneuvers. HCT systems are currently
                             under development for a wide range of input
power from 500W to 6 kW. Together with
                             the Busek Company, we have developed an all
U. S. source. We have pre-qualified HCT
                             systems at 2 and 4kW power levels.


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