Uppsala, Sweden
Uppsala, Sweden

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Gauer M.,German Aerospace Center | Telitschkin D.,Airbus | Gotzig U.,Airbus | Batonneau Y.,University of Poitiers | And 4 more authors.
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2014

PRECISE focuses on the research and development of a MEMS-based monopropellant micro chemical propulsion system for highly accurate attitude control of satellites. The availability of such propulsion systems forms the basis for defining new mission concepts such as formation flying and rendezvous manoeuvres. These concepts require propulsion systems for precise attitude and orbit control manoeuvrability. Application-oriented aspects are addressed by two end-users who are planning a formation flying mission for which the propulsion system is crucial. Basic research is conducted aiming at improving crucial MEMS technologies required for the propulsion system. Research and development also focuses on the efficiency and reliability of critical system components. System analysis tools are enhanced to complement the development stages. Finally, the propulsion system will be tested in a simulated space vacuum environment. These experiments will deliver data for the validation of the numerical models. © 2013 IAA.


Grm A.,C3M d.o.o. | Gronland T.-A.,NanoSpace AB | Rodic T.,University of Ljubljana
Engineering Computations (Swansea, Wales) | Year: 2011

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe the micro fluid flow analysis in a micro thruster of micro-/nano- satellite propulsion system and to propose the algorithm for the fluid flow simulations with the open boundary based on moving boundary method. Design/methodology/approach - The analysis is based on a finite volume moving boundary method. Underlying mathematical model is the system of Navier-Stokes-Fourier partial differential equation describing compressible gas model. Propellant under the study is pure nitrogen gas. First, the static geometry velocity vector field is calculated and the information of the velocity at the outflow boundary is obtained; then, with the moving boundary method the outlet boundary is evolved. Evolution of the boundary is stopped when the continuum model ceases to hold. The criteria of the continuum model failure are based on the local Knudsen number. Findings - The validations of the flow with respect to the Knudsen number showed that the continuum model is valid in the nozzle interior part (from the pressure value to the nozzle throat). The exterior nozzle part (diverging side) showed immediate raising of the Knudsen number above the continuum threshold (0.01). For the overall accurate computations of thruster flow, the continuum model must be coupled with molecular model (i.e. Boltzmann BGK). Originality/value - In this paper, the authors propose a method for the computation of an open boundary flow with the application of the moving boundary method. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0264-4401.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SPA.2012.3.5-01 | Award Amount: 545.48K | Year: 2013

Current project has focused on investigating opportunities, how nanosatellites could be used to support the implementation of European Space Policy. Nanosatellites serve to be cost-effective science and technology platform to make sustainable contribution to a roadmap for space and innovation in Europe, which includes realizing a potential of new and innovative space applications and stimulating an evolvement of new business models for space missions. In that regard, the NANOSAT project brings together partners from nanosatellite development network in Europe to create the opportunities for continuous and sustainable collaboration between nanosatellite players, furthering the advancement of nanosatellite platform, development of innovative space applications and sharing the knowledge base with each other. The main objective of the NANOSAT project is to contribute to a roadmap for space and innovation in Europe through studies and events in support of highly capable small satellites and thereby innovative space applications and new business models for space missions in Europe. In order to reach to desired impact, the NANOSAT project has defined the following specific objectives: Consolidate main actors in European nanosatellites landscape by creating functional network, showcasing best practices and potential markets to serve the objectives of European Space Policy; Demonstrate nanosatellites potential in Europe by proposing innovative services which will complement and create synergy with GMES services by addressing information needs faster and more flexibly; Draw proof of concept missions that will realize the ability of nanosatellites to perform missions like communications and Earth observation in support of European Space Policy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-03-2015 | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2016

The overall ambition of MONBASA is to develop an energy storage system for small satellites (nano-/microsatellites) that outperforms existing solutions and can be integrated with MEMS technology. To be both, applicable and competitive, the novel solution will have to respond to specific needs, namely: (1) high energy efficiency and density, (2) small size and low weight, (3) high reliability (4) compliance with existing standards and regulation, and (5) high cost-efficiency. Any energy storage system will have to first demonstrate its ability to store energy efficiently, within specific power, lifetime and safety specifications and eventually be available at a cost that is ultimately affordable by the nano/microsatellite sector, which is highly cost-sensitive. Worldwide nanosatellite sector is continuously growing and three main aspects are driving the development: miniaturization, standardization and cost. However Europe has seriously fallen behind competitors from the US and Asia, with regard to R&D in the field of energy storage, which is one of the crucial components for improving and widening small satellites performance and applications. With its approach, MONBASA is bridging the gap between R&D and market, with the desired future impact being that the provision of tailored energy solutions becomes a European discipline and business. By bringing together a cross-sector consortium that comprises actors from the areas of energy R&D, processing technologies and space applications, the exact needs of the space industry will be considered for innovative energy storage solutions at low TRL levels. This will not only significantly increase future market uptake of a novel solution that so far is in the state of basic research, but it will foster urgently needed intense knowledge exchange between non-space and space actors for jointly developing novel solutions for a field of expectedly strong growth.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-04 | Award Amount: 2.84M | Year: 2010

Our MicroThrust proposal addresses the FP7 target for advanced in-space propulsion technologies for solar system exploration. This research provides a key component in facilitating exploration missions: a technology that can substantially reduce the cost of undertaking particular types of robotic exploration. Building on the framework of a successful ESA study, our team of leading academics, research institutions and space companies has developed a conceptual design of a very small, yet highly performant electrical propulsion system. The conceptual design is based upon experimental data already obtained by team members. As a result we are confident that this system can provide the transportation element for taking nano/micro satellites to any location in the Earth-Moon system and will even allow missions to nearby planets and asteroids. The propulsion system will thus permit new exploration mission concepts. These missions due to their size will be developed within a fraction of the time for conventional missions. Their simplicity, perhaps even single instrument spacecraft, will reduce risk for carrying out the mission. Overall this will dramatically reduce cost of individual missions, thus providing more flight opportunities for planetary scientists and planetary exploration. To achieve these goals the propulsion technology has high performance at low mass and low power demand. The propulsion system is a microfabricated colloid thruster having a high degree of subsystem integration. Our work so far has demonstrated the capability of this concept to have a radically reduced part set making substantial progress towards a thruster-on-a-chip. Our experienced team will take the technology through to the significant position of having tested and fully characterized a breadboard model. The design approach is that this is also a proto-flight model such that gaining the final step of a flight test for the hardware is low risk and low development cost.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-3-2016-b | Award Amount: 1.39M | Year: 2017

The HiperLoc-EP project will develop a disruptive electric propulsion technology that provides a High performance Low cost Electric Propulsion system. HiperLoc-EP will provide critical propulsion functionality for micro satellite and satellite constellations typified by Samsungs Earth-wide internet via 4600 micro-satellites. The HiperLoc-EP technology is an Electrospray Colloid Electric Propulsion System (ECEPS). The design approach is radical. The element of the EP system that develops thrust is completely integrated with the Power Processing Unit; the thrust head itself is a multilayer PCB. Core to our methodology is a novel route to manufacturing an EP system, it is inspired by a system we have successfully used in another technology domain in terrestrial applications. Fabrication, integration and propellant costs are anticipated to be several orders of magnitude below conventional EP procurement. The potential applications for this technology are very broad however, in response to the COMPET-3-2016b we will focus the development on micro propulsion consistent with satellites having mass spanning the range from a multi-unit CubeSat to small satellites less than 100kg. The performance target is a thruster whose efficiency is ~50%, some 6 times that possible with typical current PPT designs, but comparable to conventional EP such as GIE and HET. The ECEPS can be designed to operate over a broad range of Isp from ~1000s to ~4000s; herein and consistent with resources of micro-satellites we will demonstrate an Isp of 2500s. ECEPS thrust scales with thrust head active area, anticipated to be ~0.2mN/cm2. This new electric propulsion system will have low volume and low power demands and is ideally suited to micro satellite constraints. This emerging technology will clearly disrupt the status quo of the space sector by providing a radical improvement in performance and cost, critical to customers hoping to operate in the dawning market for micro-satellite based systems.


A filter comprises a stack of wafers (28). Each of the wafers has a through hole (6). Edges (7) of the holes together define an internal tube. An interface (32) between adjacent wafers defines filter channels. The filter channels comprises first coarse filter channels (20), second coarse filter channels (22) and fine filter channels (26). The first coarse filter channels are open towards an outer rim (5), extend in a direction from the outer rim and are closed towards the internal tube. The second coarse filter channels are arranged in an opposite manner. The fine filter channels connect the first and second coarse filter channels. The first and second coarse filter channels extend radially (R) and the fine filter channels extend tangentially (T). The first and second coarse filter channels are defined by recesses in a surface of a first wafer and the fine filter channels are defined by recesses, each one encircling the hole, in a surface of a second wafer.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2011.2.1-02 | Award Amount: 2.81M | Year: 2011

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 missions 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-PPT 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-PPT 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-PPT 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.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-04;SPA.2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 2.41M | Year: 2010

The Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) is a recent invention of ultra-efficient propellantless in-space propulsion technology. It uses the solar wind charged ions as natural source for producing spacecraft thrust. The E-sail is composed of a set of long, thin, conducting and positively charged tethers which are centrifugally stretched from the main spacecraft and kept electrically charged by an onboard electron gun powered by solar panels. The E-sail concept is an enabling technology for reducing significantly the time, cost and mass required for spacecraft to reach their destinations. It has been estimated that it has the potential to improve the state of the art of propulsion systems by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude if using the lifetime integrated total impulse versus propulsion system mass as the figure of merit. Furthermore, the E-sail propulsion technology is truly a green propellantless method reducing significantly the mission launch masses and the amount of chemical propellant burnt in the atmosphere. As an electromechanical device it does not need any poisonous, explosive or radioactive substances or dangerous construction procedures. In the proposed project, we develop the key E-sail technologies (tethers, tether reels, spinup and guidance/control method based on gas and FEEP thrusters) to prototype level. The goal is that after the project, the decision to build and fly the first E-sail demonstration mission in the solar wind can be made. As a secondary technological goal, the project will raise the FEEP and gas thruster readiness level for general-purpose satellite attitude control purposes.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2011.2.1-02 | Award Amount: 2.83M | Year: 2012

PRECISE focuses on the research and development of a MEMS-based monopropellant micro Chemical Propulsion System (CPS) for highly accurate attitude control of satellites. The availability of CPS forms the basis for defining new mission concepts such as formation flying and advanced robotic missions. These novel concepts require CPS for highly precise attitude and orbit control manoeuvres. CPS has been identified by ESA to fill the gap between state-of-the-art electrical and chemical propulsion due to its compactness, low power requirements and low system weight. PRECISE combines European capabilities and know-how from universities, research organisations, experienced European companies and a Russian company for the research and development of a CPS for the future market demands. PRECISE provides a stepping stone along the ESA-CPS roadmap. Basic research will be conducted aiming at improving crucial MEMS technologies required for CPS. Research and development will also focus on the efficiency and the reliability of critical system components up to TRL5. In addition, system analysis tools will be enhanced to complement the development steps of the propulsion system. The CPS will be tested in a simulated space vacuum environment. Application-oriented aspects will be addressed by two end-users in the consortium who are planning an exemplary formation flying mission for which the CPS is crucial. The Work Programme topic SPA.2011.2.1-02 Research and development for space exploration is directly addressed by PRECISE. High precision attitude control and micro-propulsion systems are specifically listed as key elements.

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