The array of tiny silicon nozzles from which the ions are emitted at speeds of around 40,000 km/h (24,855 mph)
The electric field is reversed every second to eject both the negative and positive ions
The small reservoir to hold the ionic liquid fuel
The prototype ionic motor that could be integrated into small satellites
The ionic motor developed at EPFL is designed to extend the capabilities of the new generation of nanosatellites
Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a prototype mini motor designed to extend the capabilities of the new breed of small satellite. The motor weighs roughly 200 grams (7 oz) – including the fuel and control electronics - and could be used to change the orbit of small satellites, or even propel them to more far flung destinations that would usually require larger, more expensive spacecraft.
Other Images from this Gallery