Case Study: High Power Plasma Amplifier for Plasma Rocket Engine

High power plasma amplifier for Ad Astra plasma rocket engineCustomer Issue:

  • Rocket manufacturer required very high efficient and high power plasma amplifiers for plasma rocket engine system
  • Customer subcontracted Nautel to build high powered and high efficiency plasma amplifiers for space

Nautel Solution:

  • Nautel developed and built 50kW and 180kW plasma amplifiers for first and second stage of the rocket engine
  • Amplifiers are solid state, water cooled with efficiency over 97% DC to RF conversion
  • Will be tested in 2013 (anticipated) in the space station

Working prototype in vacuum chamber

Ad Astra logoCustomer Comment:

“Nautel’s compact and light weight high power RF technology is critical to a successful space application. In addition, the low voltage requirements of these RF transmitters make them compatible with the voltage output of space-borne solar power arrays, eliminating costly and bulky power transformers and other intermediate power conditioning equipment.”

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz

Chairman and CEO, Ad Astra

Learn more about the Ad Astra VASIMR® VX-200 rocket project