A miniature ion propulsion system is currently developed by the University of Tokyo collaborating with the Next Generation Space Technology Research Association (NESTRA) in Japan. This miniature propulsion system is intended for the installation on 50 kg small spacecraft "HODOYOSHI-4" developed by NESTRA under the Japanese government funded project, "New Paradigm of Space Development and Utilization by Nano-satellite". The engineering models of all the components were developed and assembled as an ion propulsion system. A number of operations of the system were conducted using a vacuum chamber. The present specifications of the engineering model was evaluated as the weight of 7.9 kg (dry:6.9 kg), volume of 39 cm×26 cm×15 cm, power consumption of 39 W, and thrust of 300 μN with specific impulse of 1200s.
2014 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences