Date: 1985-1988. Thrust: 0.0630 N (0.0140 lbf). Specific impulse: 2,800 s.
The XIPS-25 program, conducted by Hughes Research Laboratories, developed thrusters, BBPPUs, and a feed system pressure regulator for possible stationkeeping of 2500 kg class communication satellites. The 25 cm diameter, 3-grid, xenon ion engine input power was 1.3 kW with a thrust level of 63 mN and a specific impulse of 2800 s. Three thruster types were developed: a laboratory-type, an advanced development model, and an engineering model. Performance tests indicated that the later models inherited virtually identical performance. A BBPPU with greatly reduced parts count, over SEPS designs, was built and tested. Overall PPU efficiency was 90%, and the flight packaged specific mass was estimated to be 8 kg/kW. A 15 month wear test was conducted using the laboratory model thruster, a BBPPU, and a flight-type regulator. The hardware successfully completed 4,350 hours of testing and 3850 cycles, which was equivalent to about 10 years of stationkeeping operations. The Hughes Space and Communications Company subsequently pursued development of XIPS-13 (0.44 kW) and XIPS-25 (4.2 kW) systems, instead of the 1.3 kW XIPS-25 system, for NSSK and orbit insertion applications.
Electrical Input Power: 1.30 kW.