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Consortium for Hall Effect Orbital Propulsion System – Phase 2 covering LOW POWER needs

Project description

Propelling the EU into a leadership position in the small satellite market

Electric propulsion systems (EPS) use electrical power to accelerate a propellant. In comparison to chemical propellants, they are very lightweight and highly efficient, making them uniquely qualified to keep low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites circling the globe. LEO satellites are increasingly deployed in large constellations for applications including Earth observation, navigation and communications. They are also set to play a critical role in the Internet of Things, and taking a leadership position in this growing market requires a cost-effective EPS. The EU-funded CHEOPS LOW POWER project is significantly advancing the necessary technologies to achieve the first fully European low-power EPS addressing the LEO satellite market.


The LEO satellite market evolution sets a quick innovation pace for the satellite industry. High performances, compatibility with high production rates, adaptability and competitive prices are key in order to gain and maintain a strategic position. Based on a market analysis an EPS with a cost lower than 200K and a power range from 200W-1000W meets future satellite market needs, increasing European competitiveness on the worldwide satellite arena.
CHEOPS Phase 2 LOW POWER will deliver incremental developments for the first fully European Low Power EPS bringing the Thruster Unit and the FMS to TRL7 and the PPU to TRL6. The system will be optimized with Xenon and compatible with Krypton.
CHEOPS LOW POWER will permit the detailed design of the different system elements (TU, PPU, FMS) by addressing the following key challenges: compactness, modularity, optimized in-service life, low cost and high production rates, as well as flexible propellant management. Also, a multi-point qualification approach for the thruster unit enabling reduction of recurring costs through a more standard and common approach for all customers is considered. For this, CHEOPS LOW POWER will use a design to cost approach, COTS components and lean production approaches. CHEOPS LOW POWER will fully take advantage of new technologies and develop supporting advanced numerical design tools for electric propulsion, allowing to understand the observable behavior of a given thruster in its environment and predicting future performance.
The project will achieve significant progress in setting a HET diagnostics standard thus preparing its implementation in the future In Orbit Demonstrator.
CHEOPS LOW POWER will have a medium-term impact on the European space industry and its overall competitiveness by delivering a mature low power EPS. In the long-term the impact extends to the satellite design and manufacturing paradigm, enabling a novel approach integrating both industry and client needs since the start.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 500 000,00
Bvd du general martial valin 2
75015 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 642 857,50

Participants (7)