CHEOPS first successful EP thruster coupling test for LEO applications

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We are glad to announce that we have had a first successful coupling test between a Bradford Flow Management System (FMS), a Safran ion thruster and a Sitael cathode! This thruster has been developed in the framework of CHEOPS project.

With this coupling test the feasibility of the Electric Propulsion System for LEO applications has been successfully demonstrated.

Moreover, all the involved partners have achieved relevant developments. In particular, Bradford’s LEO-FMS has been specifically developed to provide a low-cost solution for large constellations, and features a number of innovations in terms of system architecture and component selection. One of the innovations is the third generation Bradford pressure sensor: the Micro-PT.

The CHEOPS project is a challenging space project that proposes to develop three different Hall Effect Thruster (HET) Electric Propulsion Systems (EPS), in order to serve different application fields or orbits: – a low power for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) applications; – a dual mode EPS for GEO/NAV applications; – a >20 kW high thrust EPS for exploration applications. CHEOPS project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730135.