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The test allowed Airbus DS and Safran engineers to validate design choices to best accommodate the thrusters onboard the spacecraft, and ensure proper thermal behaviour under extreme conditions. In the largest Eurostar Neo configurations, several thrusters will fire simultaneously to shorten the transfer time to the geostationary arc.
The test was performed by Airbus DS in the frame of the European Space Agency’s Neosat Partnership Project that also includes a lifetime qualification extension of the PPS®5000. The full Eurostar Neo electric propulsion will be validated in-orbit with the first mission, scheduled for launch in mid 2021.
The objective of the Neosat Partnership Projects is to develop and qualify the next generation platforms allowing the two European satellite prime integrators, Airbus DS and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) to deliver competitive satellites for the commercial satellite market. The projects include development up to in-orbit validation of the new platform product lines for both Prime contractors, Eurostar Neo for Airbus DS and Spacebus Neo for Thales Alenia Space.
Ten (10) Neosat satellites have now been ordered, demonstrating the high economic impact of ESA’s Partnership Projects. Neosat is part of ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme and is based on a cooperation between ESA and CNES.