Testing the NANO AR³ FEEP cubesat electric propulsion system at ESA Propulsion Laboratory – May 2022

Authors: Martin Eizinger, José Gonzalez del Amo, Luca Bianchi, Davina Di Cara, Quirin Koch, David Krejci, Alexander Reissner, Kaarel Repän, Tony Schönherr

Published On: May 2022

Event: 8th Space Propulsion Conference, Estoril, Portugal, SPC2022-266


Space propulsion systems undergo thorough ground testing before being deployed in space. We report the results of a functional verification and performance characterisation test campaign of an integrated electric propulsion system for cubesats and microsats with purely electric thrust vectoring capability and no moving parts.
Visualisations of the plume data obtained from Faraday cup scans show a clear, corresponding trend of the variation of the inclination and azimuth angles of the thrust vector when these are commanded.
The divergence angle computed from plasma diagnostic data is 49°, independently of the achieved inclination of the ion beam.

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