The ENPULSION NANO IR³ is the next-generation FEEP system based on the flight-proven success story that is the ENPULSION NANO. Incorporation of lessons learned from a large number of acceptance test campaigns and in-orbit performance verifications led into an updated electronics design, thermostructural concept, and software functionality. The resulting product – the ENPULSION NANO IR³ – features increased reliability, radiation tolerance, and environmental resilience, and is configured to enable higher-thrust operating points.
All EEE components of the ENPULSION NANO IR³ 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.
The ENPULSION NANO IR³ is an updated version of the space proven ENPULSION NANO. It is directly building on its heritage, leveraging the proven design and component selection.
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.
Thrust can be controlled through the electrode voltages, providing excellent controllability over the full thrust range and a low thrust noise. Due to the efficient ionization process, the ENPULSION NANO IR³ can provide a higher specific impulse than any other ion propulsion system currently on the market.
SAFE AND INERT SYSTEM
The ENPULSION NANO IR³ 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.
PROPERTIES AND PERFORMANCE
While the required power to operate the ENPULSION NANO IR³ starts at around 8 W, at higher power levels one can choose between high thrust and high specific impulse operation. The ENPULSION NANO IR³ has been configured to enable thrust values up to 500 µN, and can operate at an Isp range of 1,500 to 4,000 s.
At any given thrust point, higher Isp operation will increase the total impulse, while also increas ing the power demand. The thruster can be operated along the full dynamic range throughout the mission. This means that high Isp and low Isp manoeuvres can be included in a mission planning as well as high thrust orbit manoeuvres and low thrust precision control manoeuvres.
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Last updated: 2021-10-26