About the Project

Even though the current state-of-art electric propulsion (EP) systems exhibit impressive performance, these technologies have not been possible to scale down in size whilst retaining system performance. As a result, such technologies are not available for nano- and micro satellites. The HiperLoc-EP project aim to use a novel approach to develop an Electrospray Colloid Electric Propulsion System (ECEPS).

The project seeks to develop a disruptive electric propulsion technology that provides a high performance EP system – to a cost that is at least one order of magnitude lower than today. A High Performance Low Cost (HiperLoc) Electric Propulsion system would enhance the functionality, performance and the value of many micro/nanosatellite missions in the future. The objectives include identifying the performance requirements, enhancing the TRL for an ECEPS system, and understanding key processes in order to determine the optimal way to operate an ECEPS. Also included in this project is the design, manufacture and test of an ECEPS breadboard.

The duration of the project is 30 months starting in January 2017. The HiperLoc-EP system is anticipated to operate at an efficiency of 50% at an Isp of 1500s. The cost target for HiperLoc-EP system is feasibility also for CubeSats and nanosatellites. Thus, HiperLoc-EP will provide Europe with an internationally commercially competitive, high performing EP thruster in the timescale 2020 and beyond, targeting 250 m/s deltaV for a 1/2 U propulsion system on a 3 U CubeSat. .

Electrospray Colloid Electric Propulsion