Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Reference nr.: 13.1TT.19
Planned Tender Issue: quarter 3, 2013
The objective of the activity is to study a mass optimised architecture of high voltage power conditioning for PPU's (Power Processing Units) for full electric propulsion spacecraft allowing reconfiguration between north-south station keeping mode and orbit raising/transfer mode.
Targeted Improvements: Enable optimised electrical thruster operation for different missions (orbit raising and station keeping).
New full electrical propulsion spacecraft for telecom will require electrical thruster operation for both orbit topping and station keeping. This will require operating the thrusters at two different operational points, one for orbit transfer/orbit raising and the other one for station keeping. For the different available high power thruster concepts these two required operational modes need reconfiguration of the high voltage power supply between two different voltages, for example 500V and 1000V, or 1000V and 2000V at maximum power of several kW. In order to avoid oversizing in mass and to provide optimum overall efficiency, power architectures with configurable high voltage power supplies need to be developed.
Current PPU's for electric propulsion are designed for north-south station keeping, means there is only one optimized working point. Voltages are in the order of 300-400V for plasma propulsion, 1000V for HEMPT and 2000V for ion engines, all at power level of several kW. Qualified units are on the market for all these applications.
Currently available high voltage converters are not optimised to cover two completely different operational points
1. Analyse requirements of actual EP solutions.
2. Propose suitable converter architectures, i.e. arrays of high voltage converters switched in parallel and in series depending on the needs.
3. Evaluation of architectures and selection of the most promising for more detailed study.
4. Demonstrate feasibility by limited breadboard focused on the reconfiguration capability.