2, February 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8515
Open Date: 28/01/2016
Closing Date: 10/03/2016

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 15.123.10
Prog. Ref.: TRP
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – TRP
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Technical & Quality Manag
Department: Mechanical Engineering Department
Division: Propulsion & Aerothermodynamics Division
Contract Officer: van Hilten, Linda
Last Update Date: 28/01/2016
Update Reason: Tender issue

Current chemical propulsion systems rely on the hypergolic reaction of dangerous, corrosive and toxic chemicals. The selection of these chemicals was driven by a range of needs including performance, storability and reliability. They have also driven up the sub-system design justification cost. Current ”green” propulsion options can offer some mitigation of these issues however most alternatives are not benign chemicals and continue to have safety and cost concerns. Electrolysis (ECLSS heritage) technology in Europe is at a high TRL. Gaseous hydrogen/oxygen engines are also mature technology. Such a system, with currently available power levels is likely to have a lower thrust than a bi-prop system and consequently the transfer time will fall somewhere between electric orbit raising and chemical orbit insertion. It also offers other potential benefits: Using reversable fuel cell technology, excess electricalpower can be stored as oxygen and hydrogen rather than just in the batteries. The water itself can be used for cooling as well as for propulsion needs.

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