Busek Ships First LEO to GEO Capable Electric Propulsion System

Design Demonstrated One Million Newton-Seconds in NASA-Led Test

NATICK, Mass., Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Busek confirmed shipment of its first flight BHT-600 Hall effect thruster system, a modular propulsion unit with the capability of raising small satellites from low earth orbit (LEO) to geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and beyond. Hall thrusters are one form of highly efficient spacecraft electric propulsion which utilize solar energy and very small amounts of propellant to create thrust.  The undisclosed customer ordered the system roughly twelve months ago for a Government mission launching later this year.

The BHT-600 thruster design previously demonstrated a record-breaking 7,000-hour ground test, an activity supported by NASA's Game Changing Development Office and the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The long-duration ground test was performed at NASA Glenn Research Center as part of a NASA Space Act Agreement. There, the thruster was independently tested in the simulated vacuum of space, processing roughly 70 kilograms of xenon propellant before the test was terminated.

"The BHT-600 is a highly capable and robust solution that's a perfect fit for many upcoming small satellite missions," said Vlad Hruby, President of Busek. "With this system, ESPA-class satellites, and small satellite constellations, roughly 180 – 225 kilograms in size, will be able to execute high-velocity maneuvers including orbit-raising, near-earth object rendezvous, and extend the life of GEO, MEO, and LEO spacecraft.  The system is also an ideal fit to power electric upper stages on small launch vehicles." 

The BHT-600 is designed for operation from 400W to 1kW in power, and has been tested for thousands of hours on traditional and next-generation propellants including xenon, krypton, and iodine. The modular flight system features a Busek-designed radiation tolerant power processor with variable output, xenon feed system, and long-life thruster assembly. The BHT-600 joins Busek's family of flight qualified industry-leading propulsion solutions, including Hall effect thrusters, electrospray thrusters, and iodine fueled ion engine systems.

About Busek Co. Inc.: Busek is a leader in the development and manufacture of high performance in-space propulsion, sensors, and power systems. The firm's highly efficient designs enable a range of challenging missions for government and commercial customers. From one-off science missions to high-volume constellations, Busek brings decades of design, manufacturing, test, and spaceflight experience to missions which matter.

CONTACT: Busek Co. Inc., Ms. Judy Budny, 508.655.5565, judy@busek.com

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