The ASPIRE project will build up on the heritage gathered by SITAEL and its partners, mainly AST, on the development of a 20kW Hall thruster system through several relevant concluded and ongoing projects. These projects allowed development of an advanced Engineering Model (EM) 20kW Hall thruster unit, EM model FMS and a breadboard power architecture and units, at the TRL 4 to 5. The target TRL in ASPIRE is 5-6 through the development of an EQM thruster unit and FMS, together with the elegant breadboards of the power architecture representative of critical functionalities.
Overview of the SITAEL’s development of the 20kW-class HT20k Thruster unit
ESA’s overview of various in-orbit servicing mission scenarios [@ESA.int]
- Develop, in the mid-term, the European capacity to compete in the worldwide arena of electric propulsion satellites and missions and be in time to market
- To substantially increase medium- and long-term competitiveness of existing Electric Propulsion System technologies with a technology and application-driven approach
- To pursue developments which shall be mainly market-oriented, beneficial at system level and with a strategic view to long term needs; also, to anticipate ambitious long-term market evolution and strategic opportunities, so that the developed Electric Propulsion Systems could create new markets and shape existing ones
- To enable medium- and longer-term applications: Space Transportation and Exploration/Science. The ASPIRE aims to ensure that Europe will have the propulsion capacity and technology base to lead its own missions of these types to Moon in the near-term, and to Mars and beyond in the longer-term.
- To develop the Incremental Technology Electric Propulsion System up to system demonstration in a space environment and ready for its qualification