11, December 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10538
Open Date: 09/12/2020
Closing Date: 10/02/2021 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.123.09
Prog. Ref.: GSTP Element 1 Dev
Budget Ref.: E/0904-611 – GSTP Element 1 Dev
Special Prov.: GB
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Propulsion / Electric Propulsion ¿ BB / Thruster module (Plasma/Ion Thrusters), Xenon Flow Control Unit, ¿ *For Thruster Pointing See Mechanisms
Technology Domains: Propulsion / Electric Propulsion Technologies / Electrostatic Systems
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Mechanical Department
Division: Propulsion & Aerothermodynamics Division
Contract Officer: Garre, Maximilian
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 09/12/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

The objective of the activity is to design, develop and qualify of a propellantless neutralized, of a thruster harness and integration on pointing mechanism. Miniaturised electric propulsion systems have long been recognised as candidates for missions such as LISA and NGGM (Next Generation Gravity Mission) where the ability to provide low thrust levels with a unique combination of ultra finethrust control and high specific impulse (SI) are critical. Their use on very small spacecraft, is however also rapidly gaining interest. Mission studies indicate a propulsion system with an SI performance (>3000s), combined with a low W/mN (<40W/mN), thrust range 1 to >2mN and a lifetime >90kNs will be enabling in nature, offering the possibility of relatively low cost but highly agile capabilities, even in very small form factors. Previous studies highlighted the need for a small pointing mechanism to allow the thrust vector to be precisely adjusted to account for CoG misalignment (and evolution), wheel off-loading and disturbance torque correction.The thruster technology and spacecraft configuration will dictate the mechanism selection, which will in-turn drive the design of the harness spanning the moving interface and the mechanical/thermal and electrical integration of the sub-system. It is therefore deemed essential that any thruster/harness development shall be performed concurrently with the mechanism. The small Radio-frequency Ionisation Thruster (RIT) technology fits perfectly with the mission scenarios studied and has been selected as the baseline technology in the frame of the ongoing development activity GT17-050MP – Development and performance demonstration of a high specific impulse propulsion system for micro/nano/cubesat class spacecraft for the specification and development of all complimentary system elements. As a consequence, the activity will be based around the RIT technology and will focus on the following activities: – Transferof the RIT thruster technology to a production partner. – Development and agreement of a Thruster sub-system (Thruster/ Neutralizer/ Pointing Mechanism/ Harness) requirement specification. – Design, development and qualification of a propellant-less neutralizer/ harness compatible with the specified sub-system lifetime. – Design, development and qualification of the Thruster sub-system to the agreed requirements. – Manufacture and testing of any required samples and an EM standard Thruster sub-system(s) and coupled performance verification. – Manufacture and testing of QM standard Thruster sub-system(s) for qualification activities. – Design andmanufacture of all necessary GSE required for the successful completion of the activity.

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