Publication archive

Publication archive

Presented at the 4th International Spacecraft Propulsion Conference, Chia Laguna (Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy, 2-4 June 2004

Electric propulsion represents one of the most promising technologies for application in future space missions; Hall Effect Thrusters (HET's) and Gridded Ion Engines (GIE) are particularly interesting for their relatively high thrust capability coupled with a specific impulse which is up to one order of magnitude higher than latest generation chemical systems. The knowledge of the plasma plume evolution in the thrusters surrounding space is of fundamental importance, at system design level, for new generation satellites, in order to integrate the propulsive subsystem with the other vehicle subsystems: as known, the use of electro-magnetic thrusters can create compatibility problems, due to the electrically charged particle flow, which can interfere with telecommunication signals and generate erosion and insulation loss for critical satellite surfaces (e.g. solar panels, optical instruments and sensors etc.) A number of Hall thrusters plume models have been developed, present simulation techniques usually implement a Particle In Cell / Monte Carlo approach to a plasma flow considered in a quasi-neutral state, with the possibility of a residual atmosphere (typical of a vacuum chamber test facility). In this paper the 3D plume simulation model developed by Alta will be described, and applied to model the SNEMA PPS® 1350 thruster used on the SMART-1 satellite.

Published: 03 June 2004
An overview on the current status of the SMART-1 mission as of 13 May 2004.
Published: 14 May 2004
Authors: Bernard H. Foing, Chief Scientist
G. Racca, A. Marini and SMART-1 Project team
M. Grande, J. Huovelin, J.L. Josset, H. Keller, A. Nathues, D. Koschny, M. Almeida, J. Zender and SMART-1 Science & Technology team

The status and first results of ESA's SMART-1 mission were presented at the 1st General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union on 26 April 2004. The presentation covered:

  • SMART-1 Technology Mission: Solar Electric Propulsion to the Moon
  • Payload Technology and Science objectives
  • Lunar and planetary science with SMART-1
  • Performances, Status and first results data integration
  • SMART-1 Contribution to preparing Future Planetary exploration

Contact: Bernard H. Foing, Chief Scientist, ESTEC/SCI-SR, ESA Science Directorate, Bernard.Foingesa.int

Published: 27 April 2004
Presentation given during the 5th IAA International Conference on Low Cost Planetary Missions on 24th September 2003 by Bernard Foing
Published: 25 September 2003
Presented at the 34th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference, 23-26 June 2003, Orlando - Florida
Published: 24 June 2003
This international Conference was organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILWEG). The papers presented covered a wide range of subjects, including future lunar missions, the technology needed to support these missions, science of the Moon itself, development of the Moon by humans and public outreach.
Published: 02 August 2000

Giorgio Saccoccia
Head of Propulsion and Aerothermodynamics Division

SMART-1 Media Day
3rd April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003

Guiseppe Racca
SMART-1 Project Manager

SMART-1 Media Day
3rd April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003

Eike Kircher
Head of Basic Technology Research Programme Section
Technology Programme Department

SMART-1 Media Day
3 April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003

Bernard H. Foing
Chief Scientist & SMART-1 Project Scientist

SMART-1 Media Day
3 April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003

Peter Rathsman
Project Manager
Sweedish Space Corporation

SMART-1 Media Day
3rd April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003

Peter Rathsman
Project Manager
Sweedish Space Corporation

SMART-1 Media Day
3rd April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003

Sven Grahn
VP Engineering
Swedish Space Corporation

SMART-1 Media Day
3rd April 2003
ESA/ESTEC

Published: 04 April 2003
SMART-1 is the first of the Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology of the ESA Horizons 2000 scientific programme. The SMART-1 mission is dedicated to testing of new technologies for future cornerstone missions, using Solar-Electric Primary Propulsion (SEPP) in Deep Space. The chosen mission planetary target is the Moon. The target orbit will be polar with the pericentre close to the South-Pole. The pericentre altitude lies between 300 and 2000km, while the apocentre will extend to about 10,000km. During the cruise phase, before reaching the Moon, the spacecraft thrusting profile allows extended periods for cruise science. The SMART-1 spacecraft will be launched in the spring of 2003 as an auxiliary passenger on an Ariane 5 and placed into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The expected launch mass is about 370kg, including 19kg of payload. The selected type of SEPP is a Hall-effect thruster called PPS-1350. The thruster is used to spiral out of the GTO and for all orbit maneuvers including lunar capture and descent. The trajectory has been optimised by inserting coast arcs and the presence of the Moon's gravitational field is exploited in multiple weak gravity assists. The Development Phase started in October 1999 and is expected to be concluded by a Flight Acceptance Review in January 2003. The short development time for this high technology spacecraft requires a concerted effort by industry, science institutes and ESA centres. This paper describes the mission and the project development status both from a technical and programmatic standpoint.
Published: 01 December 2002
The SMART-1 mission, to be launched at the end of 2001, is intended to demonstrate innovative and key technologies for deep-space scientific missions. Its use, for example, of solar electric propulsion as its primary drive mechanism will be a first for Europe and is essential in paving the way for future ESA projects with large velocity requirements, such as the Mercury Cornerstone mission. SMART-1 will also be a test case for a new approach in terms of implementation strategy and spacecraft procurement for the ESA Science Programme. The total life-cost budget allocated to SMART-1 is 50 MECU. This budget constraint imposes use of a cheap launch option, such as an Ariane-5 auxiliary payload launch into a standard GTO or a Rockot escape-trajectory launch. This in turn limits the planetary bodies that can be reached within a given short (1.5 - 2 year) overall mission lifetime, which do, however, include the Moon and Earth-crossing asteroids or comets.
Published: 02 July 1998
"As the first spacecraft to use primary electric propulsion in conjunction with gravity manoeuvres, and as Europe's first mission to the Moon, SMART-1 opens up new horizons in space engineering and scientific discovery. Moreover,we promise frequent news and pictures, so that everyone can share in our lunar adventure."
Published: 01 February 2003
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