Objective:The objective is to define and develop an electrical thruster simulator providing a new category of test equipment required to standardize acceptance and Power Processing Unit (PPU)-thruster coupling tests.
Description:Realistic electrical simulators of electric propulsion thrusters are not currently available. Standardised test equipment for use during unit development and integrationtesting does not exist either.
For reliable verification of Power Processing Units (PPU) a realistic test environment is very important. Typically the electrical characteristics of such thrusters are often described as "mostly resistive". However, significant deviations from this theoretical simplification can be observed in real applications, especially during transients as e.g. beam events or ignition. Realistic loads are an essential part for proper testing/verification of electric propulsion power supplies (PPUs). Implementation of floating ground system helps to simulate the ground concept often used for electric propulsion subsystems. The goal of the proposed activity is a development, which can ultimately be generic enough to work with all major thruster types relevant nowadays for telecom satellites.
This activity, a load simulator breadboard simulating the behaviour of electric propulsion thrusters shall be defined, developed and manufactured. The thruster simulator specification will be defined, considering thrusters impedance characteristics (at different operating points and including transients as applicable). Coupling tests with an existing PPU shall be performed to verify and validate the concept.