The HIVHAC Development Program was competitively selected under NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technologies Cycle 2. The HIVHAC offered mission benefits compared to the 4000-second NEXT ion system for NASA's interplanetary robotic exploration deep space missions. NASA Glenn mission analysis compared Hall thruster technology to the NEXT ion thruster system for Neptune and Saturn missions. This analysis indicated that a Hall propulsion system, used for the Earth escape and interplanetary transfer, offers a trip time reduction or increase in payload for these missions. Based on this analysis, GRC proposed to develop a 6-8 kW Hall thruster that operated at specific impulses ranging from 2200-2800 seconds. In May 2003 the HIVHAC Development Program received the go-ahed. This NASA GRC led the effort in collaboration with Aerojet Redmond Rocket Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the University of Michigan. HIVHAC performance objectives were: Total specific impulse: 2200-2800 s; Input power 6-8 kW; Propellant xenon; Total thruster efficiency >62%; Thrust 430 mN; Propellant throughput > 400 kg; Specific mass 1.3 kg/kW; Discharge voltage 500-700 V; Current density: comparable to SOA thrusters; Power density 2x SOA thrusters; and Operational lifetime 6000 hrs @ 8 kW, 8000 hrs @ 6kW.
Electrical Input Power: 8.00 kW.
Thrust: 0.43 N (0.09 lbf).
Specific impulse: 2,800 s.
First Launch: 2003-on.