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Aerojet Rocketdyne High-Power Solar Electric Propulsion System: Providing Orbit Raising Propulsion for the Air Force Advanced Extremely High Frequency SV-3 Satellite

Written by: developer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Oct. 7, 2013) – Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that its XR-5 high-power Hall Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system has initiated orbit raising operations on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Space Vehicle 3  (SV-3) that launched September 18 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

Each AEHF Space Vehicle includes four of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 4.5-kiloWatt XR-5 Hall Subsystems, with each subsystem consisting of an XR-5 Hall thruster, power processing unit, and xenon flow controller.   During orbit raising, two XR-5 thrusters are fired simultaneously for a total operating input power of 10-kiloWatts.   Like the SV1 and SV2 satellites already on orbit, the Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5 Hall System provides orbit raising as well as on-orbit station keeping propulsion during the vehicle’s 14-year mission life.

“Aerojet Rocketdyne’s XR-5 Hall Subsystem is the highest-power, highest-efficiency Hall system ever flown and more than 200 satellites flying today rely on Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Electric Propulsion,” said Warren M. Boley, Jr., president of Aerojet Rocketdyne. “This technology can reduce the cost of missions and support Earth orbit and deep-space activities.  It is versatile, it is dependable and it is a core part of the future of exploration.”

Use of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s patented long-life, zero-erosion XR-5 Hall system on AEHF reduces the launch mass of the space vehicle by more than 2,000-lbs compared to an all-chemical propulsion approach, resulting in greatly reduced mission launch costs for the U.S. Air Force.   In addition to the 4.5-kiloWatt XR-5 Hall system, Aerojet Rocketdyne also has 12-kiloWatt XR-12 and 20-kiloWatt XR-20 Hall systems in development.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense, strategic, tactical missile and armaments areas in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, energy and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ websites at and

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Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202.302.9941
[email protected] 
Erin Dick, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 818.586.4977
[email protected]