Skip to main content

A highly efficient propulsion system for micro- and nano-satellites able to double the mission lifetime and to position satellites with unprecedented accuracy

Objective

Several players are investing in Constellations of Satellites to provide customers services as global imaging in near real time, telephone & internet coverage, monitoring of ships, airplanes, fires etc. The global market of this new space race, worth 2.2 B$ in 2016, is expected to increase to 5.3 B$ in 2021. Several players are trying to disrupt market by lowering manufacturing costs, but the most difficult component to acquire remains the propulsion system: these satellites, in fact, work without a propulsion system, resulting in high replacement rates (once per year), limited orbit manoeuvres, difficulties in flight formation, passive deorbiting not sufficient to put satellites into graveyard orbits at their end of life.
AMR propulsion aims to solve these problem with a unique, modular product: the IFM nano thruster, a compact (1dm3, <1kg), modular propulsion system with the highest propellant efficiency, capable of control satellites position with an unprecedented accuracy, perfectly suitable for single CubeSats as well as for big constellations of satellites (>100). The core, proprietary technology is based on a widely tested (10,000+ h) thruster developed for large satellite control in future ESA missions, specifically re-engineered to fit the space and mass constraints of small satellites. The thruster is based on a porous tungsten crown emitter employing 28 needles, instead of a single one, for field emission. Each porous needle combines he advantages of both the capillary needle and the solid needle, resulting in high resistance to contamination and small size. The manufacturing process is extremely difficult: it took ten years to be perfected and Propulsion is the unique proprietary of this huge know-how.
During Phase 1 project, Propulsion will assess the scale-up industrialization plan and will evaluate a sound go-to-market strategy to ensure successful commercialization of IFM nano thruster.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/satellites
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/internet
  • /social sciences/sociology/governance/public services

Call for proposal

H2020-SMEINST-1-2016-2017
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1

Coordinator

AMR PROPULSION INNOVATIONS GMBH
Address
Viktor Kaplan-strasse 2
2700 Wiener Neustadt
Austria
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000