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MagnetIc NOzzle thruster with elecTron cyclOtron Resonance

Objective

MINOTOR’s strategic objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of the ECRA technology as a disruptive game-changer in electric propulsion, and to prepare roadmaps paving the way for the 2nd EPIC call, in close alignment with the overall SRC-EPIC strategy.
Based on electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) as the sole ionization and acceleration process, ECRA is a cathodeless thruster with magnetic nozzle, allowing thrust vectoring. It has a considerable advantage in terms of global system cost, where a reduction of at least a factor of 2 is expected, and reliability compared to mature technologies. It is also scalable and can potentially be considered for all electric propulsion applications, from microsatellites to space tugs.
Although the first results obtained with ECRA have been encouraging, the complexity of the physics at play has been an obstacle for the understanding and development of the technology. Thus an in-depth numerical and experimental investigation plan has been devised for the project, in order to bring the technology from TRL3 to TRL5. The strong consortium is composed of academic experts to perform the research activities on ECRA, including alternative propellants, along with experienced industrial partners to quantify its disruptive advantages on the propulsion subsystem and its market positioning.
ECRA’s advantages as an electric thruster technology can be a disruptive force in a mostly cost-driven satellite market. It would increase European competitiveness, help develop low-cost satellite missions such as constellations, provide end-of-life propulsion, and pave the way for future emerging electric propulsion technologies.
The 36 months MINOTOR project requests a total EC grant of 1 485 809 M€ for an experienced consortium of 7 partners from 4 countries: ONERA (FR, Coordinator), industries Thales Alenia Space (BE), Thales Microelectronics (FR), SNECMA (FR), Universities Carlos III (ES) and Giessen (GE), and SME L-up (FR).

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles/particle accelerator
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/microelectronics

Call for proposal

H2020-COMPET-2016
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

OFFICE NATIONAL D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES AEROSPATIALES
Address
Chemin De La Huniere
91120 Palaiseau
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 599 065

Participants (6)

UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III DE MADRID
Spain
EU contribution
€ 310 481,25
Address
Calle Madrid 126
28903 Getafe (Madrid)
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THALES MICROELECTRONICS SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 150 271,25
Address
Za Piquet Cap De Bretagne
35370 Etrelles
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITAET GIESSEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 153 750
Address
Ludwigstrasse 23
35390 Giessen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THALES ALENIA SPACE BELGIUM S.A.
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 115 058,75
Address
Rue Chapelle Beaussart 101
6032 Mont Sur Marchienne
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES
France
EU contribution
€ 70 276,25
Address
Bvd Du General Martial Valin 2
75015 Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
L - UP SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 86 907
Address
Avenue De Friedland 32
75008 Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)