Gatsonis, Nikolaos A.
NASA is currently evaluating the viability of Xenon ion thrusters on long duration interplanetary missions that may require up to 150,000 hours of operation. This project evaluates the effectiveness of shadow shielding in protecting the isolators and insulators of the ion thrusters from carbon deposition. Through experimentation and analysis the sticking coefficient of carbon on carbon-contaminated surfaces was determined. Preliminary analysis suggests that the current shielding configuration is inadequate for such long duration missions.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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