RF Plasma Amplifier for Plasma Rocket Propulsion System
The Ad Astra Rocket Company of Texas approached Nautel in 2007 to develop a radio-frequency plasma amplifier to be used in a plasma rocket propulsion system. Utilizing high efficiency solid state RF generators made by Nautel, Ad Astra’s VASIMR® VX-200 rocket project achieved a highly-coveted new power milestone of 200 kW maximum power in September, 2009.
Originally studied by NASA, this technology is expected to revolutionize space travel greatly reducing the operational costs of space exploration and shortening transit times for missions to Mars, and Nautel is playing a key role in its development.
In a 2009 Canada AM interview, Astronaut Chris Hatfield described Nautel’s innovation as a “critical piece” in the quest to make a manned exploration mission to Mars more likely in the foreseeable future.
- Case Study for High Power Amplifier for Plasma Rocket Engine
- Ad Astra press release - VASIMR VX-200 reaches 200 kW power milestone
- Nautel's Rocket Science featured in Progress Magazine publication
- Nautel Spacecraft Technology Press Release
- More about Plasma Rockets and Space Propulsion
- Learn about Plasma Physics
- Learn about the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket
- Scientific American article on VASMIR™ Plasma Rocket
- Learn more about VASIMR VX-200 R&D