6 - 10 December 2020, Singapore
Prof Shuyan XU is the founder of the Plasma Sources and Applications Centre (PSAC) and the Space Propulsion Centre, Singapore (SPCS) at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The Centers consist of three research units: Plasma Processing Laboratory, Advanced Materials and Nanostructures Laboratory, and Photovoltaic Research Laboratory, and a prime national space propulsion center, comprising a large space environment simulator and space payload testing facilities. Prof. Xu has built an international network in space propulsion and advanced space materials, particularly for miniaturized propulsion platforms for Cubesats and small satellites. Currently, Prof. Xu leads a large-scale program on a 12U scientific satellite that comprises a series of 8 Hall-effect thrusters and cathode-less miniature HEM Jet as well as deployed Langmuir probes, Faraday cups, ion energy analyzer and emission spectroscope that are all developed at SPCS. Prof. Xu's research interests lies in the areas of plasma physics, space plasma propulsion, current drive in fusion and plasma material physics and devices. Prof. Xu is an organizer and Guest Editor of several Special Issues in IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci.; Plasma Sources Sci. Technol., Rev. Mod. Plasma Physics. He has published over 270 journal articles and several visionary papers in Nature, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, and delivered over 200 keynote addresses/invited talks and conference presentations.
Plasma Space Propulsion for Nanosatellite Orbit Control and Complex Constellation Formation
Great interests in constellations of micro and nanosatellite missions are growing at an unprecedented pace nowadays. Orbit maintenance, orbiting error correction, satellite insertion, attitude control, orbital transfers and deorbiting of satellite are becoming the crucial factors for any space mission. Owing to the high specific impulse of the acceleration ions, the use of plasma electric propulsion can efficiently reduce the amount of propellant needed to fulfill a mission, leading to a significant reduction of the mass of the satellite payload. This talk presents the development of the solar electric propulsion thrusters at the Plasma Sources and Applications Centre/ Space and Propulsion Center Singapore (PSAC-SPCS), National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. These include three highly distinctive space propulsion systems: a Miniature Hall-effect-Thruster (MHT) for cube- and nano-sats propulsion, a Hall Effect Micro jet (HEM-jet) for high precision drag-free control, and a radio frequency rotating magnetic field driven Gradually-Expanded-Rotamak (GER) electromagnetic thruster for neutralizer-free missions. The physics, engineering and in-ground experiments of the thrusters will be discussed. As an example, the in-space performance of four clusters of the HEM-jets systems in a recently launched microgravity mission will be presented.