L3 Electron Devices (L3 EDD) has been a world leader in the development and production of Xenon Ion Propulsion Systems (XIPS) for more than fifty years. L3 EDD currently has more than 116 25 cm ion thrusters in orbit with over 280,000 accumulated failure-free flight hours. L3’s new 8 cm thruster is based on our space-qualified in-orbit flight heritage technology and is designed for small satellite applications.
XIPS can be used for satellite orbit raising, station-keeping, and de-orbiting. The ion thruster ejects electrically charged particles at high velocities that generate impulses. A satellite uses these impulses to move itself from transfer orbit to the final designated orbit. Once in the final orbit, the impulses are used to correct for the tug of solar or lunar gravity and reposition the satellite in its proper orbit and altitude