Xenon Flow Controller – ASU


Arizona State University (Tempe Campus)


Iron Class (2018 – 2019)

Student Team

Reid Baker, Electrical Systems Engineering
Sheena Benson, Robotics Engineering
Clinton Ewell, Robotics Engineering
Charles Homan, Mechanical Engineering Systems
Hansol Moon, Robotics Engineering

Scientific & Technical Guidance

Dr. Jason Frieman, NASA Glenn Research Center

Academic Guidance

Dr. Timothy Beatty, Associate Director, ASU Polytechnic School

Project Description

Our industry partner, the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration in collaboration with the NASA Psyche Mission, identified an opportunity to design an improved xenon flow controller (XFC) for supplying propellant to a spacecraft’s Hall-effect thrusters (HET’s). Alternative solutions should provide precise, variable flow without adding inordinate amounts of mass or power consumption. We investigated innovative solutions to this problem by designing, prototyping, and testing a prototype xenon flow controller built to the parameters of the Psyche spacecraft.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of Arizona State University Capstone Courses “EGR 401-402”. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission (https://psyche.asu.edu). “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.