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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).

Coordinator

OFFICE NATIONAL D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES AEROSPATIALES
Net EU contribution
€ 599 065,00
Address
Chemin De La Huniere
91120 Palaiseau
France

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Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Essonne
Activity type
Research Organisations
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Participants (6)

UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III DE MADRID
Spain
Net EU contribution
€ 310 481,25
Address
Calle Madrid 126
28903 Getafe (Madrid)

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Region
Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
THALES MICROELECTRONICS SAS
France
Net EU contribution
€ 150 271,25
Address
Za Piquet Cap De Bretagne
35370 Etrelles

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Region
Bretagne Bretagne Ille-et-Vilaine
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITAET GIESSEN
Germany
Net EU contribution
€ 153 750,00
Address
Ludwigstrasse 23
35390 Giessen

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Region
Gießen Gießen, Landkreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
THALES ALENIA SPACE BELGIUM S.A.
Belgium
Net EU contribution
€ 115 058,75
Address
Rue Chapelle Beaussart 101
6032 Mont Sur Marchienne

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Region
Région wallonne Prov. Hainaut Arr. Charleroi
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES
France
Net EU contribution
€ 70 276,25
Address
Bvd Du General Martial Valin 2
75015 Paris

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Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
L - UP SAS
France
Net EU contribution
€ 86 907,00
Address
Avenue De Friedland 32
75008 Paris

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00