FEEP propulsion and thrust vectoring – with ENPULSION

Podcast

A discussion about how FEEP propulsion and thrust vectoring innovation can open up new possibilities for small satellite operators.

In this episode we speak with Alexander Reissner and Tony Schoenherr from ENPULSION – an Austrian propulsion technology manufacturer. We discuss:

  • Field-emission electric propulsion (FEEP) – a form of propulsion using liquid metal as a propellant
  • Thrust vectoring – the ability to control thrust direction for complex movements
  • ENPULSION’s history and product development process
  • What such propulsion capabilities can bring to missions today, and where the field might be heading in the future.

ENPULSION’s product portfolio

Building on the heritage of the ENPULSION NANO, ENPULSION has developed a scaled version of the technology to target small and medium size spacecrafts. The ENPULSION MICRO R³ is engineered in a modular approach, with units clustering easily together to form building blocks.

specific impulse

1500 to 6000 s

total impulse

> 50 kN s

dynamic thrust range

200 µN - 1.35 mN

dry mass (including PPU)

2.6 kg

While the required power to operate the ENPULSION NANO starts at around 10 W, at higher thrust levels one can choose between high thrust and high specific impulse operation. The ENPULSION NANO can operate at at an Isp range of 2,000 to 6,000 s.

specific impulse

2000 to 6000 s

total impulse

> 5000 N s

dynamic thrust range

10 to 350 µN

dry mass

680 g

The ENPULSION Nano AR³ uses differential emission throttling within the proprietary crown ion emitter to control actively the emitted ion beam and, therefore, thrust.

specific impulse

2000 to 6000 s

total impulse

> 5000 N s

dynamic thrust range

10 µN - 0.35 mN

dry mass

< 1230 g

The ENPULSION NANO IR³ has been configured to enable thrust values up to 500 µN, and can operate at an Isp range of 1,500 to 4,000 s.

specific impulse

1500 to 4000 s

total impulse

> 4000 N s

dynamic thrust range

10 to 500 µN

dry mass

< 1200 g

While the required power to operate the ENPULSION NANO R³ starts at around 8 W, at higher power levels one can choose between high thrust and high specific impulse operation. The ENPULSION NANO R³ can operate at an Isp range of 2,000 to 6,000 s.

specific impulse

2000 to 6000 s

total impulse

> 5000 N s

dynamic thrust range

10 to 350 µN

dry mass

< 1200 g

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