ion engine


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Related to ion engine: plasma engine

ion engine

A device consisting of a source for producing ions and an electromagnetic field for accelerating the ions in a particular direction. In practice, an ion engine can be used in a low-pressure environment to produce propulsion by reaction forces associated with the rapidly moving ions. It is also necessary to expel oppositely charged particles to the ions from the engine to ensure charge neutrality. Ion engines have been investigated as possible power sources for spacecraft.

ion engine

[′ī‚än ‚en·jən]
(aerospace engineering)
An engine which provides thrust by expelling accelerated or high-velocity ions; ion engines using energy provided by nuclear reactors are proposed for space vehicles.
References in periodicals archive ?
It took 16 months to get Hayabusa back under JAXAAAEs full control and to rev up the ion engines that would serve as the central power for the craft.
At full throttle, the ion engine consumes about 2,300 watts of electrical power and puts out 0.
EUROPE'S first mission to the moon will be powered by a new generation of Star Trek-style ion engines, it was revealed yesterday.
Using its ion engine to match Vesta's orbit around the sun, the spacecraft will spiral gently into orbit around the asteroid.
We celebrate the successful joint operation of the Japanese ion engine in our facility," said Bill Smith, executive director of Aerojet Space and Launch Systems Business Development.
Propulsion engineer Steven Gabriel at the University of Southampton in the UK is developing a triple-gridded ion engine.
Roger Myers, general manager of Aerojet's Redmond operations, states that "the low power Microwave Ion Engine from NEC provides an excellent complement to Aerojet's broad electric propulsion product offerings.
Ion engines, on the other hand, accelerate electrically charged atoms, or ions, through an electric field, thereby pushing the spacecraft in the opposite direction.
In these roles, he oversaw development of multiple spacecraft thruster systems demonstrated in space including the NSTAR ion engine that was first demonstrated in 1998 on NASA's Deep Space 1 mission.
company, successfully completed, in early August, manufacture and integration testing of the Xenon Propellant Management System (PMS) and Digital Control Interface Unit (DCIU) simulator for Phase 1 of the NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion engine development program.
They also carry an advanced Xenon ion engine that reduces the amount of propellant needed to fine-tune the initial orbit and perform station-keeping maneuvers.