An investigation of two simultaneously operating SPT-140D thrusters was carried out at JSC EDB Fakel (included in the state corporation Roscosmos). The SPT-140D thrusters start-up abilities with combined and independent power supply were investigated. The possibility to start one thruster from another thruster was demonstrated.
The thrusters were tested at Fakel’s test facility. The SPT-140D thrusters were installed in the vacuum chamber in one plane. Several starts were performed with various cathode positions on one of the thrusters to prove that one thruster can be started from another thruster.
The possibility of a dual firing of 2 SPT-140Ds from one cathode and also the possibility of one thruster firing from the neighboring thruster’s cathode was validated during the test, what extends the thruster system capabilities. The cathode is the most critical part of the SPT relative to the thruster system functional reliability.
Today, the SPT-140 thrusters are the most popular thrusters in the line of high-power electric propulsions for spacecraft both at the Russian and Western markets. The SPT-140 thrusters have been used on low-Earth orbits since 2018. According to the enterprise’s specialists, the SPT-140 type of thrusters can be used for various tasks on spacecraft in near-Earth and in deep space.
JSC EDB Fakel (a part of the state corporation Roscosmos) is one of the leading enterprises in development of electric propulsion systems and thermal catalytic propulsion systems operating using Hydrazine. Fakel has a production experience in serial and mass delivery of thrusters both in commercial and state market segments. The share of the thrusters production in the world for spacecraft is about 10%. More than 70 Russian spacecraft (more than 60% of the Russian orbital constellation) and 30 Western spacecraft are equipped with thrusters developed and produced by EDB Fakel. Today EDB Fakel’s partners are ISS Reshetnev, RSC Energia, Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, Lavochkin Research and Production Association, Research and Production Corporation VNIIEM, Maxar (Canada), Airbus, TAS (France), MELСO (Japan), IAI (Israel), OHB (Sweden).
ROSCOSMOS is the state corporation established in August 2015 for a comprehensive reform of the rocket and space industry of Russia. ROSCOSMOS ensures performance of the state policy in space industry and normative regulation. ROSCOSMOS also places orders for development, production and delivery of space hardware and space infrastructural objects. Also, one of its functions is to develop international co-operation in space industry and provide conditions to use the results of the space activities for a social and economic progress of Russia.