SERT II 1980 extended flight thruster experiments

1981 15th International Electric Propulsion   unpublished
The SERT II spacecraft, launched in 1970, has been maintained in an operational, but intermittent status since 1971. This paper presents the flight results obtained from mid 1979 through December 1980. Near continuous solar power in 1979 and 1980 has enabled long periods of thruster endurance testing. Three of four propellant tanks have been exhausted with no significant change in thruster system operation before being empty. A new plasma mode thrust has been characterized and direct thrust
more » ... urements obtained. Other tests, including beam neutralization by various neutralizer sources, give insight to electron conduction across plasmas in space and provide a basis to model neutralization of thruster arrays.
doi:10.2514/6.1981-665 fatcat:g3wel3lvh5a4xbv7ki3u25j7rm