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Plasma Jet Pack

Project description

New propulsion for more power

Electric Propulsion is a class of space propulsion which makes use of electrical power to accelerate a propellant by different possible electrical and magnetic means. The use of electrical power enhances the propulsive performances of the EP thrusters compared with conventional chemical thrusters. The EU-funded PJP project is based on the vacuum arc physic, offering advantages to storing propellant into solid metal. The project allows storage solution to largely reduce the complexity of propulsion modules and other operational constraints. The removal, also, of in-orbit constraints helps pave the way for new propulsion module applications, allowing for new satellite missions.


This project proposes to develop a new electric propulsion module technology. This technology is based on the vacuum arc physic. This concept presents the advantage to store propellant into solid metal. This storage solution allows to largely reduce the complexity of propulsion module and operations (on-ground and in-orbit) constraints. The removal of in-orbit constraints (small impulse bit, no preheating, large total impulse) will pave the way to new propulsion module applications, in addition to the classical ones, and consequently to new satellite missions such as in-flight formation, electric propulsion pointing, continuous accurate altitude control.
The consortium aims at achieving the validation of this propulsion module technology in 3 years (QR level). The team consists in experts from space propulsion, space hardware development and vacuum arc physics. During this project, it is planned to develop and validate building blocks for a family of 3 products which will have increasing performances in thrust, total impulse and specific impulse :
• Plasma Jet Pack 0-30W
• Plasma Jet Pack 0-80W
• Plasma Jet Pack 0-150W
After requirements and potential impact analysis, the first part of the project will be dedicated to building blocks development and qualification : Arc Discharge Chamber (ADC), Plasma Generator Unit (PGU), Power Propulsion Supply and Control Unit (PPSCU).
A second part of the project will be focus on the PJP0-30 with a full development through an Electrical Model and a Qualification Model. This development will largely rely on technology building blocks.
The qualification model will be tested in order to be ready to start the commercialisation phase at the beginning of 2023. Moreover a validation flight is planned during this project at the mid of 2021.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 739 583,75
Chemin du vignalis 6
31130 Flourens

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

Occitanie Midi-Pyrénées Haute-Garonne
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (7)