Project

CHEOPS (Consortium for Hall Effect in Orbit Propulsion System) project was selected among Strategic Research Cluster EPIC (http://epic-src.eu) proposals and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement n. 730135.

CHEOPS proposes to develop three different Hall Effect Thruster electric propulsion systems:

  1. a dual mode EPS for GEO applications;
  2. a low power for LEO application;
  3. a >20 kW high thrust EPS for exploration applications.

Each of these will be developed according to market needs and drivers applying incremental technology changes to existing EPS products.
The development approach will follow the ESA ECSS approach and the dual mode and low power are targeting a System PDR review with 42 months from the project start. Development will cover the following elements: thruster, cathode, PPU and FMS.

The project is perfectly aligned to the SRC guidelines published with the call. Through a detailed development plan the project will demonstrate their ability to achieve by the end of CHEOPS Phase II (2023) the following: a) TRL7-8 for dual mode and low power b) high power HET EPS TRL6. Common transverse activities will include advanced numerical design tools for electric propulsion which will further the understanding of the observable behaviour and interactions with the satellite platform and predict performances of a given design. This includes alternative propellants and the ability to estimate the system lifetime. Finally significant progress will be made in establishing a HET performances measurement standard and developing advanced non-intrusive tests for measuring thruster erosion.

The CHEOPS consortium is led by Safran Aircraft Engines and is comprised of representatives of the biggest European Prime satellite makers (Airbus Defence and Space, OHB System, Thales Alenia Space), the full EPS supply chain (Advanced Space Technologies, Bradford Engineering, Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft – und Raumfahrt (DLR), SITAEL) and supported by academia and research centres (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Chalmers Technology University, SME4SPACE, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).