Cost evaluation of a solar power satellite (SPS) in-space transportation using Hall thruster propulsion systems is conducted to obtain specific characteristics of Hall thrusters that yield significant transportation cost reduction. Therefore, the transportation scenario is optimized in the first place: the choice of reusing or disposing orbit transfer vehicles (OTVs), and the power of the propulsion system. The result shows that the case of reusing OTVs is superior to the case of disposing them, because the OTVs' manufacturing costs are predominant in the total cost. In addition, the power has only limited influence on the cost. Further, specific characteristics of Hall thrusters are discussed, which are necessary to achieve a target cost of $3.75 billion (300 billion yen) for the sum of two costs: the in-space transportation cost from a low Earth orbit (LEO) to a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) and the propellant launch cost from Earth to LEO.
2014 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences