The LEROS MHT-1N
European High Reliability 1N hydrazine thruster
Design and development of a European Advanced Monopropellant 1N thruster that offers greater pulse and Isp performance together with extended functional life capability than all existing 'flight-proven' heritage designs.
The challenge was to design, manufacture and prove through extensive testing a European 1 Newton hydrazine thruster that would out-perform existing 1N offerings in terms of pulsed and steady state operation whilst offering excellent performance which exceeds 228 seconds Isp and up to 1.38N thrust at 24 bar inlet pressure. In parallel with this advanced thruster development, the High Altitude Test Facility at Westcott UK has been taken to World Class capability in order to provide high accuracy measured thrust for every MHT-1N produced.
The MHT-1N thruster is manufactured at Westcott, UK and has 100% European geo-return (67% UK, 10% France, 3% Germany) on the Thrust Chamber Assembly (TCA). The qualified Nammo CTV-D Flow Control Valve (Ireland) is the baseline fitment and will be offered on the MHT-1N following a delta-qualification test programme in early 2022.
Its catalyst bed heater gets to pre-heat in under 8 minutes with 1 element and approximately 3 minutes using both elements. In qualification programmes the Cat Bed Heater was kept on for the mission duration proving its long-term reliability.
Unique ‘Quick Start’ procedure for warming the catalyst bed to pre-heat temperature without the use of the heater. This eliminates the need for traditional Cold Starts that are proven to damage standard monoprop thrusters. This ‘Quick Start’ technique has been approved by ESA.
It can be supplied with a dual-redundancy k-type thermocouple from France for temperature sensing.
Westcott has developed its own catalyst packing methodology and all major steps are quantified at key stages to ensure high repeatability in the cat packing process.
It has innovative in-life catalyst bed conditioning and enhanced injector design thereby virtually eliminating ‘thermal choking’ that can be evidenced on more normal 1 Newton thrusters..
Minimum Isp of 228 secs at 24 bar inlet pressure.
The MHT-1N thruster incorporates an innovative Thrust Chamber Assembly with highly optimised injector and catalyst retention designs that have been proven over a multi-year development programme and subsequent ESA Qualification programmes.
The MHT-1N is fully designed, qualified and Flight Models are being manufactured, tested and delivered.
The thruster is in full-scale supply mode and, as orders continue to build, will become the industry standard for the 1N hydrazine class thruster. Project Completed.