TECHNOLOGY

Electric
Propulsion

Ambipolar propulsion systems based on magnetically enhanced RF plasma propulsion technology.

NO

ELECTRODES

PROPELLANT

FLEXIBILITY

NO

NEUTRALIZER
Products in the Market

REGULUS

REGULUS is T4i first Electric Propulsion System in the market already tested in space. REGULUS is a robust, versatile, and cost-effective propulsion system for small satellite platforms and nanosatellite deployers.

TECHNOLOGY ADVANTAGES

SIMPLICITY

The thruster is characterized by a very simple structure: a dielectric cylindrical ionization chamber (discharge chamber), a radiofrequency (RF) antenna, a gas injection system, and a magnetic system for plasma confinement (within the chamber).

INNOVATIVE RF ANTENNA

We have developed and patented an innovative type of antenna system to allow better coupling and easier matching in space applications.

THROTTLEABLE AND CONFIGURABLE

The system works at fixed point, but power and thrust level can be set before each thrust event, allowing to optimize the maneuvers profiles during the mission.

NO NEUTRALIZER

The system ejects neutral plasma, so it does not require a neutralizer, simplifying the design and enhancing the reliability.

ROBUSTNESS AND LONG LIFETIME

The absence of grids or electrodes exposed to plasma implies that there are no components subjected to erosion, thus resulting in a very robust system with a long lifetime.

MULTI-PROPELLANT

The flexibility of this technology allows multiple propellants. We have an extensive expertise in using Iodine, Xenon, Argon, Krypton and water Vapour as propellant.

IODINE PROPELLANT

Which are the advantages of iodine over other propellants?

Easier handling
operations

Very high
density

Unpressurized
system

Solid at room
temperature

Reduced
procurement costs

capabilities

We carry out research and development activities
through a extensive combined numerical-experimental investigations

We design, develop and test PPUs, RF networks, plasma sources and plasma thrusters.
We develop and optimize numerical codes for full thruster simulations and plasma plume spacecraft interactions.
We develop vacuum chambers combining different diagnostics and thrust balances for RF thruster testing.

TIMELINE

FUNDED PROJECTS

We are working on magnetically enhanced RF plasma technology propulsion systems since more than 10 years.
Starting from the sketch, we designed, manufactured and tested our plasma systems, solving the stoppers for its maturation.

\
2009
HPH.com, funded by the EC FP7 Project.
Consortium coordinated by the University of Padua, comprising 15 partners from EU nations and 2 ICPC countries.
\
2012
SAPERE-STRONG, funded by MIUR.
Consortium coordinated by Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I). Development of a 1kW class thruster for tug applications.
\
2017
Development of an innovative Magnetically Enhanced RF plasma thruster suitable for small satellites, founded by EC SME Instrument Phase I.
\
2020
E-REGULUS, funded by ESA.
A 150 W propulsion system development based on magnetically enhanced plasma thruster.