An ion thruster, ion drive, or ion engine is a form of electric propulsion used for spacecraft propulsion. It creates thrust by accelerating ions using electricity.An ion thruster ionizes a neutral gas by extracting some electrons out of atoms, creating a cloud of positive ions.
Ion thrusters are categorized as either electrostatic or electromagnetic.After considerable redesign, the BSI Mark II is the most potent ionic thruster of modular design yet. It improves upon my first Ionic thruster in every category imaginable, and, is structurally very solid. The future of flight is, is ionic.Watch the video from Plasma Channel:
Ion thrusters use beams of ions (electrically charged atoms or molecules) to create thrust in accordance with momentum conservation. The method of accelerating the ions varies, but all designs take advantage of the charge/mass ratio of the ions. This ratio means that relatively small potential differences can create high exhaust velocities.
This reduces the amount of reaction mass or propellant required, but increases the amount of specific power required compared to chemical rockets. Ion thrusters are therefore able to achieve high specific impulses. Ion thrusters are categorized as either electrostatic or electromagnetic. The main difference is the method for accelerating the ions./source
- Electrostatic ion thrusters use the Coulomb force and accelerate the ions in the direction of the electric field.
- Electromagnetic ion thrusters use the Lorentz force to accelerate the ions in the direction perpendicular to the electric field.