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1. ## Calculating the Specific Power (W/kg) of Ion Engines

I'm thinking about diving deeper into the ion engines of KSP. Not only can I understand them better for KSP fanworks, in which the engine math would be described in great detail, but I can apply these principles for real-life. As a KSP example, the given values of the IX-6315 "Dawn" engine are: Isp = 4200 s Thrust = 2 kN Which is way higher than the real-life ion engines I've been seeing. Values I can easily calculate are: Mass flow rate for xenon propellant (kg/s) Exhaust velocity (m/s) Beam power (watts) Wet-to-dry mass ratios for certain dV requirements For certain phases, some parts will be jettisoned (e.g. I'm not going to carry an Apollo-style landing craft back home if I've already used it). Using this engine as an example, how do I calculate the specific power (W/kg) for it? With that value, I can divide it by the input power to get the mass of the power supply system required. Example: an engine with an Isp=2000s and a Thrust = 0.2 N. A value of 100 W/kg was given for the specific power, but I have no idea how they got it. mass of power supply system = (Power required in W) / (specific power in W/kg) This might not matter so much in KSP, but it does for real-life calculations. Plus, as an aerospace engineering major, I want to better understand what goes into xenon-powered spacecraft. If someone could help me, that would be nice.
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