Summary

Building on the flight heritage of the ENPULSION NANO and the evolutionary design of the ENPULSION NANO R³, the ENPULSION NANO AR³ expands controllability towards active thrust vector control – without moving parts.

ACTIVE THRUST VECTOR CONTROL

The ENPULSION NANO AR³ allows to control actively its resulting thrust vector – without any moving parts. It can therefore steer, correct for CoG mismatch, or enable advanced missions requiring thrust pointing. It also features the same excellent controllability over the full thrust range and a low thrust noise of the heritage ENPULSION NANO.

CONTROLLABLE SPECIFIC IMPULSE UP TO 6000 S

Due to the efficient ionization process, which allows the capacity to ionize up to 60% of the evaporated Indium atoms, the ENPULSION NANO AR³ can provide a higher specific impulse than any other ion propulsion system currently on the market.

MATURE TECHNOLOGY

The core of the ENPULSION NANO AR³ is a mature technology, developed under ESA contracts for 15 years, and is further building on the heritage of the ENPULSION NANO, leveraging the proven design and component selection.

SAFE AND INERT SYSTEM

The ENPULSION NANO AR³ contains no moving parts and the indium propellant is in its solid state at room temperature. Avoiding any liquid and reactive propellants as well as pressurized tanks significantly simplifies handling, integration, and launch procedures.

RAD-TOLERANT ELECTRONICS

All EEE components of the ENPULSION NANO AR³ are procured in lot-controlled batches. Selected sets of these batches are subjected to radiation testing, so that each thruster can be traced back to a fully representative qualification model. EEE components were selected and integrated to be more tolerant to TID and SEE.

PROTECTIVE CASING

The thruster is assembled into a protective casing that shields the electronics from the hazardous space radiation environment, facilitates handling during integration, and allows side mounting.

PROPERTIES AND PERFORMANCE

The ENPULSION Nano AR³ uses differential emission throttling within the proprietary crown ion emitter to control actively the emitted ion beam and, therefore, thrust. The thrust vector capability is an additional feature compared to the ENPULSION NANO R 3 and does not reduce total impulse capability. The dependency of maximum thrust on thrust vector angle is shown on the left.

While the required power to operate the ENPULSION NANO AR³ starts at around 8 W, at higher thrust levels one can choose between high thrust and high specific impulse operation. The ENPULSION NANO AR³ can operate at an Isp range of 2,000 to 6,000 s. At any given thrust point, higher Isp operation will increase the total impulse, while it will also increase the power demand. The thruster can be operated along the full dynamic range throughout the mission. This means that high Isp and low Isp maneuvers can be included in a mission planning, as well as high thrust orbit maneuver and low thrust precision control maneuvers.


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Last updated: 2020-12-21

ENPULSION NANO AR³

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Specs

height
95.3 mm
dynamic thrust range
10 µN - 0.35 mN
nominal thrust
350 µN
specific impulse
2000 to 6000 s
propellant mass
220 g
total impulse
> 5000 N s
power at nominal thrust
40 W incl. neutralizer
length
98.0 mm
width
99.0 mm
dry mass
< 1230 g
wet mass
< 1450 g
total system power
8 to 40 W
hot standby power
3.5 W
temperature envelope
-40 to 95 C
operating temperature
-20 to 40 C
voltage1
12 V
28 V

1. Other voltages available on request.

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