The project objective is to develop optimal guidance laws for full electric propulsion station-keeping of GEO satellites with their corresponding thrusters accommodation architectures and a design environment to develop such an optimal configuration.
During the last decade electric propulsion has become a good alternative to traditional chemical satellite propulsion, also for large and small GEO platforms. Two of the most promising technologies are Ion Gridded Engines and Hall Effect Thrusters due to their high specific impulse compared to chemical thrusters.
This project provides elements to analyse the existing technologies from any point of view and provides a tool in order to optimize them considering usual missions constraints and thrusters configurations. Case of regular station keeping, transfer from parking orbit and station changes are considered.
To develop a tool for analysis, verification and validation of proposed strategies in the so-called “analysis, verification, and validation development environment” or AVVDE.
To raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of this optimal guidance law technology from 2-3 to 4-5. Where third level means "Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment".
To serve as a stepping stone for future projects that may acquire TRL 7-8 with little effort. Where eighth level means “Actual system completed and “flight qualified” through test and demonstration (Ground or Flight)”. To enhance current station keeping models for GEO satellites using EP. This will allow them to save mass consumption and therefore to enlarge satellites usable lifetime.
The main features of the projects include:
The project is organised in 5 steps:
The first major milestone of the project has been held. During the Baseline Design Review (BDR), the preliminary version of the AVVDE design has been reviewed. The following set of activities have been performed: