I am pleased to reveal a look at the second micro-Hall thruster in the works at AIS – the AHT1 Anode-Layer Hall Thruster! This borrows concepts from the EHT1 Micro End-Hall Thruster development with some modifications aimed at further miniaturization via self sustained discharge and neutralizer-less operation.
The thruster head itself follows the the same mounting, hardware, size, and fuel interface as the EHT1. The AHT1 shown below is the ultra-low power neutralizer-less head, however I have the design variant compatible with the same filament and hollow cathode neutralizer options as the EHT1.
Here we see a cross-sectional view of the difference between the EHT1 end-Hall configuration (left) and the AHT1 anode-layer configuration (right). The same hardware and interface is used, however there are some modifications needed, most notably the use of the central pole-piece.
Here is a cross-sectional view of the entire thruster assembly including the fuel system and valve. 50mm diameter form factor at a total height of 53mm at 3g Adamantane fuel capacity, aimed at neutralizer-less operation at discharge power levels of 5W and less.
The unique operating mode of this source, coupled with this power level, and the use of Adamantane fuel, has brought me one step closer towards extreme miniaturization of conventional EP tech. While still not PQ size yet, it is in the power range now manageable at that scale.
With the development of the AHT1, AIS aims to bring unprecedented access to Hall thruster technology at the <3U scale, providing the most compact, low-power, and affordable Hall thruster systems on the market, to allow any Cubesat team the opportunity to leverage this tech.