Onesat Platform and Propulsion Development

Status
Ongoing
Status date
2022-07-26
Activity Code
4B.160
Objectives

This ARTES consists of two projects: the development of the Onesat mechanical platform and the TRL advancement of the Aquarius electrolysed water propulsion system.

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

The first part is the development of the primary structure, thermal developments and the propulsion systems of the flexible payload Onesat spacecraft. The objective of the platform development is to mature the design of the mechanical platform and develop technologies that enable the Onesat approach. This includes a full primary structure development, secondary structure developments to support equipment and deployable appendages, thermal control system developments, as well as the development and qualification of the fluidic system, and equipment propulsion system.

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

The second part is the parallel development of water based propulsion technologies with Airbus Defence and Space Ltd focussing on the system level aspects, and URA Ltd focussing on the development of the thruster and electrolyser technologies. This development aims to raise the TRL of the water based propulsion technologies and system design & understanding to allow such green technology to be considered for future mission applications.

Challenges

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

Onesat is a new concept of flexible payload spacecraft with a unique multi-launch configuration that brings with it challenges of thermal control, structural accommodation and structural loading. The platform needs to facilitate an efficient design to manufacture approach in a cost effective manner.

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

Aquarius, the electrolysed water based propulsion is a new emerging technology that requires development of new system concepts and a significant increase of the TRL of the key enabling components of H2 / O2 thruster and water electrolyser.

Benefits

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

Onesat is the new generation of standard telecommunication satellite solution that is designed to offer Airbus Defence and Space’s customers a highly capable spacecraft with mission flexibility at an attractive cost.  

Unlike conventional bespoke spacecraft payloads, Onesat is a software defined solution with the ability to adapt between multiple satellite payload mission types in either Ka or Ku bands, and from direct-to-home to high throughput missions.  

Onesat’s design makes it is possible to steer the mission coverage over the entire visible Earth. These combined payload flexibilities offers Airbus Defence and Space’s customers the flexibility to dynamically adapt their mission to respond to a rapidly evolving telecommunications market.

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

Electrolysed water propulsion engines are planned to be up to 50% more efficient than hydrazine and use 100% green propellants with no risk of REACH obsolescence. This improved performance and inert propellant allow for smaller and lower cost systems compared to a standard hydrazine system with strong benefits achieved for larger systems.

Features

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

The Onesat mechanical platform is designed in a modular fashion based around parallel working during manufacture and enables an efficient assembly and population of the satellite with equipment and payload.  Spacecraft modules provide a stacking function with a preserved volume efficiency for payload and appendage storage.

The Xenon propulsion system provides the storage of propellant at high pressure which is delivered to the engines via a pressure regulation system. This system feeds the hall effect thrusters that are able to support all mission orbit raising and station keeping impulse requirements.

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

The Aquarius water propulsion system is a scalable modular system based around a water reactant feed and an electrolyser system that periodically replenishes high-pressure gas storage tanks with hydrogen and oxygen.

System Architecture

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

The Onesat mechanical platform and propulsion architecture consists of 5 main architectural parts:

  1. The primary Onesat structure that supports the equipment and payload and distributes the primary structural loads of stacked spacecraft to the launcher interface

  2. Thermal control implementation across payload and propulsion

  3. The hold down and release mechanism that connects multiple spacecraft during the launch phase

The propulsion system 
This ARTES development is supporting the development of all these core architectural aspects of the Onesat platform and propulsion systems.

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

The Aquarius electrolysed water propulsion system consists of 4 main architecture parts:

  1. The water storage and feed system where the reactant is stored

  2. The electrolyser and pressure management system that converts water to high pressure H2 and O2 gases

  3. The high pressure H2 and O2 gas storage and feed system

  4. The H2 / O2 bipropellant thrusters

Plan

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

The Onesat Mechanical Platform and Propulsion is a product phase development.  The main milestones for this development will be:

  • Design review

  • Final design review

  • Developments qualification review

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

The Aquarius electrolysed water propulsion consists in a definition, technology and a product phase.  The main milestones for this development are:

  • SRR

  • System Breadboard PDR

  • System Breadboard MRR

  • System Breadboard TRB

  • Equipment CDR

  • Equipment MRR

  • Equipment TRR

  • Equipment EQSR

  • System CDR

Current status

Onesat – Mechanical Platform and Propulsion

The Onesat propulsion development has passed its final design review and is now moving to the final stages of completing the development and qualification ahead of moving to manufacture.

The Onesat structure is approaching its final design review with qualifications of key enabling structure technologies progressing well and preparation for the primary structure qualification through the STM (Structural Test Model) campaign underway.

Aquarius – Electrolysed Water Propulsion

The Aquarius water propulsion has completed its definition phase including the SRR and is preparing for the PDR of the thruster & electrolyser equipment, and the system level design activities.
 

Prime Contractor
Subcontractors