The first phase of a Flight Thruster development programme has been completed. A 3.85GHz thruster weighing 2.92 Kg, shown below, has been designed, manufactured and tested.
The thruster was tested on a fully calibrated, composite balance test rig, with the thruster mounted to give the thrust vector in up and down directions. Tests were carried out over an input power range of 150W to 450W.
The results for 19 test runs of up to 90 secs duration are shown below. Mean specific thrust = 326mN/kW
The thruster is designed to be powered from existing flight qualified TWTAs, which are driven from a dual redundant frequency generator unit (FGU) The FGU includes a frequency control loop using feedback signals from the thruster, as shown below in the functional block diagram.