16, April 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10097
Open Date: 27/03/2020
Closing Date: 14/05/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 19.123.22
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Propulsion / Electric Propulsion ¿ BB / Other
Technology Domains: Propulsion / Supporting Propulsion Technologies and Tools / Testing and Diagnostics
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Mechanical Department
Division: Propulsion & Aerothermodynamics Division
Contract Officer: Almeida, Rudolfo
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 16/04/2020
Update Reason: Loaded a new Clarification(English version)

To define new methodologies for the characterisation of plasma thrusters.Plasma thrusters are distinguished from ion thrusters through the acceleration and ejection of the whole plasma outwards the thruster instead of extracting the ions and neutralizing the beam using electrons from the neutralizer. This type of thruster is gaining more and more popularity due to its simpler subsystem.The performance and characteristic measurements of the thrusters of this type needs different instrumentation, as many well established EP diagnostic methods are not suitable for these thrusters.The proposed activity aims to address this point and to establish a set of methods to characterize the plasma thrusters.The activity encompasses the following tasks::- Review of the open literature and evaluation the potential diagnostics for the characterisation of streaming plasmas with emphasis on spatial and time resolved techniques- Identification of the plasma diagnostic method(s) with most benefit to characterization of each type of plasma thruster,- selection of one or two appropriate thrusters and vacuum facility for demonstration of the identified methods- Design and development of methods for each selected method to be implemented on the plasma diagnostic platform including the data acquisition unit and a positioning system for geometrical alignment between thruster and plasma diagnostic probes- Test of the newly developed plasma diagnostic probes in the framework of the plasma diagnostic platform investigation the selected plasma thruster- Analysis of the acquired data and critical review of the results with respect to consistency and potential risks of probe sensitivity deterioration in plasma thruster environments

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