I’ve got an exciting and major announcement for the AIS-ILIS1 electrospray thruster development effort! It has been a long time coming, but finally this past Saturday, May 9th, I qualified the ILIS1 drive electronics with the new V4 boards! We are now clear to move on towards prepping for fueling, integration, and first ignition testing!
Of course no testing update would be complete without some actual video of operation. Here is a short clip of the output trace from the ILIS1 test load mounted to the V4 board, with full +/-3.5kV output on the 10M high voltage ILIS1 test load mounted to the board. Switching and timing control is done via Arduino Mega, with a nominal frequency of 1Hz. This is the biggest milestone achievement to date for this exciting thruster build!
There is definitely a ton of prep work to get ready for the biggest testing yet at AIS, but I am progressing full force to get everything set up and ready, hopefully within the next month. If all goes well, AIS will have broken new grounds on ultra-low cost and accessible advanced ion thrusters for nanosatellites!