T4i wins an ESA contract to upgrade an ESTEC facility for iodine testing
FEEP vacuum facility is one of the chambers present at the ESA Propulsion Laboratory at ESTEC. Since its commissioning it has been used to recreate low vacuum conditions and consequently perform test activities on firing plasma thrusters and cathodes.
Few European companies are developing propulsive systems that use this metal as propellant and there is currently a little number of facilities able to test them. ESA selected T4i for the FEEP upgrade due to its extensive expertise both on the development of electric propulsion systems fed with solid iodine and on its testing capabilities.
“We are glad to start this activity for ESA, it means that our expertise in developing and testing Iodine-fed propulsion systems is acknowledged and valued” said Daniele Pavarin, CEO of T4i.
“I am proud for T4i’s role in this challenging project, which will increase ESA’s capability to support the development of new, state-of-the-art electric propulsion systems based on iodine, such as REGULUS-50-I2.” said Fabio Trezzolani, Senior Electric Propulsion Engineer at T4i and Project Manager of this activity.
“This project is very important for the ESA Propulsion Laboratory and we look forward to its completion. Having the possibility to perform activities with Iodine-fed propulsive systems will permit ESA to enhance its testing capability and to assess the status of these technologies, increasing therefore the quality of the service we can offer to the European companies.” said Jose Gonzalez del Amo, ESA Head of the Electric Propulsion Section, and Luca Bianchi, ESA Propulsion Laboratory Infrastructure & Quality Manager.