PPS5000 Thruster Emulator Architecture Development & Hardware Design
Abstract: This Master's Thesis handles prestudy work and early hardware development that resulted in architectural definitions and prototype hardware of electronic ground support equipment. This equipment is destined to emulate the electric power consumption of the PPS5000 Hall Effect Thruster (HET), for use in satellite end-to-end tests of the all-electric Geostationary Satellite Electra, developed at OHB Sweden AB. The Thruster Emulator (TEM) was defined through a resulting compilation of intricate interdependent components that interface the satellite power system and the thruster, which yielded an architecture development to support some basic predefined emulator requirements. This architecture was then analyzed to form a base-line conceptual function of the emulator system, which incorporates the entire HET functionality. Six primary HET impedances were defined, of which the three most complex impedances were investigated fully. For the primary thruster discharge, research is shown of the complexity of implementing advanced electronic load hardware directly to the satellite's 5kW power system with respect to the transient primary plasma discharge during thruster start up, and with limitations on the electronic load reducing emulator-thruster similarities. Additionally, a fully functional plasma ignition emulator prototype circuit board was built to be used in the final hardware of the TEM to emulate the external HET cathode start-up functionality. Finally, a feasibility study for designing a possible solution for the large PPS5000 electromagnet impedance was performed, resulting in the manufacture of two prototype inductors with unsatisfying performance results according to the design requirements.
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