The University of Southampton

International Collaboration between Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Published: 10 April 2015

Following a successful completion of the 3-year research and development project ‘Development of a Hollow Cathode Thruster’, the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) has recently started an international partnership programme with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

“The hollow cathode is one of the key components for modern propulsion thruster designs, which emits electrons for long-time space applications”, said project leader Professor Steve Gabriel.

The collaboration aims to:

  • Establish the scaling laws and physical modelling of hollow cathodes for a variety of current classes
  • Develop a 100-A-class hollow cathode design for future high power electric propulsion
  • Enable space applications of high power electric propulsion in Japan and the UK based on the cathode technology achieved by this collaboration.

Fundamental to this work is TDHVL’s knowledge and research ability in numerical modelling techniques, as well as its research strength in state-of-the-art space science. The partnership will be the cornerstone for future international R&D collaborations between TDHVL and JAXA.

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