The rapid emergence of new application domains and mission types has had a large impact on the evolution of spacecraft design. The current interest for micro-spacecrafts essentially proceeds from the wider availability of enabling technologies (micro/nano-fabrication), and from the desire to reduce development and launcher costs. Nanosatellites are also potentially useful as a mean to increase a mission's reliability by distributing a large payload over a fleet of small spacecrafts. However, the application range of micro-spacecraft is currently restricted by the lack of sufficiently compact, lightweight, high specific impulse micro-propulsion systems.
The L-µPPT project will develop and assess the functionality of a novel PPT technology based on liquid propellant, expected to enable significant improvements over Teflon-based PPTs in terms of propellant utilization and impulse bit predictability through a tight control of the mass of propellant injected.
By leveraging state-of-the-art MEMS technologies, the L-µPPT project will develop a compelling propulsion technology for microspacecrafts offering the scalability and robustness of conventional PPTs with performances in par with modern electric propulsion systems for large satellites.
The L-µPPT project roadmap bases on a two-step implementation which comprehends the development of a first prototype, followed by the design of a fully functional prototype. Each prototype shall have an associated system specification phase, and subsequent design and development phases for each system subcomponents (thruster, injector, electronics, thrust balance and vacuum stand).
Six partners (four SMEs, a industry and a research organization) from 4 Member States- Spain, Poland, Sweden and France, and Switzerland, with different roles in the project, will work together to advance in the development of PPT propulsion system.
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Régime de financementCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project
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