Prime Lightworks electric propulsion prototype comprises two major components:

Engine System 1

Expected Power Output: 10,000 kN

Description of Engine System 1 goes here.

Engine System 2

Expected Power Output: 15,000 kN

Description of Engine System 2 goes here.

RF power electronics enclosure (3U CubeSat footprint)

RF resonant cavity thruster (1U CubeSat footprint)

Our CubeSat electric propulsion system is designed to be modular and scalable to meet the needs of any spacecraft. Our RF electronics and RF resonant cavities can replace satellite propellant mass and conventional satellite propulsion systems. This paradigm shift in propulsion will increase satellite payload mass and orbital velocities, while lowering fuel emissions and launch costs to orbit.

torsion pendulum (8inch lever)

vacuum chamber (20inch cube)

laser interferometer (5nanometer resolution)

Our vacuum thrust measurement apparatus improves on the version used by NASA Eagleworks as published in Journal of Propulsion of Power. Our torsion pendulum employs thrust calibration and damping systems similar to NASA. However, our RF power electronics enclosure is mounted on our torsion pendulum inside our vacuum chamber, to limit the effect of magnetic torque on power cables.

Null tests are performed using a RF load attenuator in place of our RF resonant cavity. Our vacuum thrust measurement campaign is now underway, including error analysis due to magnetic torque and thermal expansion, as well as other potential sources of error. We plan to publish our results once our vacuum test campaign is complete.