Advanced propulsion technology demo shows promise for future deep-space exploration

LOS ANGELES. Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully completed its early systems-integration test for NASA’s Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) program, a next-generation propulsion capability that will further enable missions to deep space.

Under the terms of the AEPS contract,  is charged with developing and qualifying a 13-kilowatt Hall thruster string for .

In the latest test, the team focused on the power elements of the AEPS Hall thruster string -- the discharge supply unit (DSU) and the power processing unit (PPU) -- with the test showing the system’s ability to successfully convert power at a high efficiency level, producing minimal waste heat.

With the early systems-integration test behind it, the team can now move into the design finalization and verification phase leading up to the critical design review (CDR), in which the design will be finalized and cleared for production.

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