Electric Propulsion

The Propulsion group of University of Padua, focuses since 2004 in studying helicon plasma thrusters. The technology looked very interesting since the beginning thanks to the possibility of developing a systems with nor grids neither neutralizers, thus allowing substantial cost reduction. Another benefit of these type of systems is the capability of operating with many different type of gasses, thus introducing high mission versatility.

Since 2004 several experimental models have been designed developed and tested within a proper vacuum chamber. In parallel to thruster development, dedicated diagnostic equipment’s, such as thrust balance, faraday cups, RPA, Lanmgmuir probes have been also designed and implemented.

Laboratory models in the range 30-1000 W have been designed, developed and widely tested.