Successful Horizon 2020 project selected by the European Commission for COMAT and its partners, for the development of an electric thruster for smallsats.
Within the scope of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Union, COMAT is proud to announce that its PJP project has been selected. COMAT is the coordinator of the project consortium, which involves SMEs, research labs and satellite builders.
The total project funding of 1.6 M€ is spread over 6 organisations: COMAT (Coordinator, France), OHB (Sweden), CNRS (France), the Bundeswehr University of Munich (Germany), Thales Alenia Space (France) and PlasmaSolve (Czech Republic).
This project proposes to develop a new electric propulsion module technology. This technology is based on the vacuum arc physics. This concept presents the advantage to store propellant in the form of solid metal. This storage solution allows to largely reduce the complexity of propulsion module and operation (on-ground and in-orbit) constraints. The removal of in-orbit constraints (small impulse bit, no preheating, large total impulse) will pave the way to new propulsion module applications, in addition to the classical ones, and consequently to new satellite missions such as in-flight formation, electric propulsion pointing, continuous accurate altitude control.
The consortium aims at achieving the validation of this propulsion module technology in 3 years (QR level). The project team is composed of experts from space propulsion, space hardware development and vacuum arc physics. A second part of the project will be focused on the PJP0-30 with a full development through an Electrical Model and a Qualification Model. This development will largely rely on technology building blocks.
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The PJP project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870444.