The CHEOPS (Consortium for Hall Effect Orbital Propulsion System) is a challenging space project that proposes to develop three different Hall Effect Thruster (HET) Electric Propulsion Systems (EPS), each with specific requirements leading to specific improvements at system and subsystem levels, in order to serve different
application fields or orbits:
- Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) dual mode EPS to provide high thrust during transfer and high Isp during station keeping.
- Low Earth Orbit (LEO) low power EPS, with a very low cost target for mass production.
- High power, high thrust EPS for Exploration applications.
- demonstrating an EPS total cost reduction at platform level of at least of 30%;
- assessing a trade-off analysis of alternative cheaper propellants;
- estimating the system lifetime;
- establishing a HET performances measurement standard;
- developing advanced, non-intrusive tests for measuring thruster erosion.
The CHEOPS approach integrates costs reduction, improved performances, new functionalities and mission scenarios.
CHEOPS KEY MILESTONES
CHEOPS will achieve the following developments:
- Reach a TRL4-5 for a high power (>20kW) EPS.
- Reach a TRL5-6 for a compact low power (200-700W) EPS.
- Achieve a TRL5-6 for a dual mode EPS (optimised both for high thrust for orbit raising and high Isp for station keeping)
Each of the proposed HETs will be developed according to market needs and drivers applying incremental technology changes to existing EPS products.
Within the end of the current project, CHEOPS will launch the Phase II aiming at demonstrating by 2023:
- the dual mode HET EPS TRL7-8;
- the low power HET EPS (200-700W) TRL7-8;
- high power HET EPS TRL6.