5, June 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8634
Open Date: 02/06/2016
Closing Date: 15/07/2016 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 16.123.03
Prog. Ref.: TRP
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – TRP
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 100-200 KEURO
Products: Launchers / Avionics / On-Board Computers / *See Software
Technology Domains: Onboard Data Systems / Payload Data Processing / System Technologies for Payload Data Processing
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Technical & Quality Manag
Department: Mechanical Engineering Department
Division: Propulsion & Aerothermodynamics Division
Contract Officer: Anastasiia Bezulenko
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 02/06/2016
Update Reason: Tender issue

To date, a large majority of space propulsion systems have relied on conventional mono- and bi-propellants, hydrazine, MMH and MON. The toxicity level of these propellants has demanded special measures to reduce safety risks (e.g. SCAPE suits, limited testing with propellants, extra mechanical barriers, restriction on air transport, etc.). These measures can have significant impact to cost and schedule for ground operations. In 2011, Europe’s Registration Evaluation Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) added hydrazine to their candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHC), due to its toxicity. With this step, there is an associated risk that REACH will make hydrazine obsolescent (restrict or prohibit its use) in the near to mid-term. This risk also exists for hydrazine derivatives MMH or UDMH and, to a lesser extent, Nitrogen Tetroxide (or MON). The SVHC list is updated on a regular basis (i.e. two times per year). This risk places further and more immediate emphasis on the need for alternatives to conventional chemical propellants. Further, there is a need for / interest in propulsion systems with a better performance to mass ratio. Currently, there are propellants with the potential to meet these lower toxicity and higher performance needs (e.g. high energy density materials HEDM, CNES high performance monopropellant, …). This activity will: – Identify and assess these propellants to determine their feasibility for use on space platforms through literature review – Characterise propellant (e.g. physical properties, toxicity, safety, material compatibility, etc.) – Down select to 1 or 2 key propellants- Possible small scale testing (e.g. decomposition test) – Perform a system study to assess the impact/benefits of these propellants for exploration platforms.

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