On the 30th of October EDB Fakel held the workshop named “Propulsion systems for small S/C and nano-class S/C; new technologies and development perspectives”. The topic of the workshop aroused a serious interest among the Russian space industry employees. Representatives of 10 leading enterprises and 3 universities came to share their experience. They presented the audience with their reports for discussion.

The initiative to create small spacecraft titled “Faster, Better, Cheaper” was announced by NASA back in 1992 as a counter to long-time and high-cost projects for big S/C. Although this concept had opponents, 20 years after small satellites firmly occupied their niche.

General Designer E. Kosmodemyanskiy opened the workshop with a short speech on the today’s perspectives for this area and the Head of marketing and public relationships department L. Korkunova talked about projects planned in Russia and abroad to create space constellations consisting of a big number of small S/C and about their peculiarities.

The reports presented by the speakers from the Moscow Aircraft Institute/Research Institute of Applied Mechanics and Electrodynamics, JSC Progress Rocket Space Centre and Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics raised many questions.

Professor V. Kim, doctor of engineering, shared the experience of the Moscow Aircraft Institute/Research Institute of Applied Mechanics and Electrodynamics in creation of a low power stationary plasma thruster and in rising problematic questions. He also presented technical solutions on how to increase thrust characteristics and life time of the thrusters and the investigation results on the use of alternative propellants.

A. Bogatyi talked about ablation pulse plasma thrusters by the Moscow Aircraft Institute/Research Institute of Applied Mechanics and Electrodynamics with a power from 10 to 170 W with the use of fluoroplastic as a propellant, as well as about a high-frequency ion thruster named ВЧИД-11 with the power of ≈ 400 W.

The Head of scientific and research laboratory of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics V. Bondarenko presented the results of the works done on the development of an electrostatic jet micro-thruster for small S/C transfer system.

The representatives of the JSC Progress Rocket Space Centre brought as a present images of the Kaliningrad oblast taken from space by the Aist-2d spacecraft developed in a co-operation with the leading enterprises of the industry and came forward with proposals on a creation of a small S/C with various hardware on the basis of this S/C.

The report presented by another speaker A. Ivliev from Samara about an electro-thermal propulsion system for a nano-satellite manufactured and tested at Samara university facility using a mixture of water and ethyl alcohol was as interesting as other reports.

An analysis of propulsion system parameters used on small S/C developed by the JC VNIIEM Corporation was presented by D. Gritsinyak, the Head of laboratory of correction propulsion systems.

V. Muravlev presented developments by the Keldysh research center in the field of electric propulsions for small S/C.

A report by the professor O. Tsybin of the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University about ion physical laws used in several contemporary approaches to develop space propulsions attracted audience’s attention.

Our enterprise presented 7 reports about our new developments and the audience would like to particularly note design-engineer A. Markov’s report on the modified SPT-70M thruster with higher output and life time characteristics, as well as Ya. Nazarova’s report on the technology to grow mono-crystals from Lanthanum Hexaboride worked out by EDB Fakel.

The workshop participants had an opportunity to get familiar with the enterprise’s production and test stand facilities and everyone interested could have a look at a firing SPT on the KVU-120 test stand.

The workshop was wrapped up by the leading designer in the area of SPTs K. Kozubskiy. One of the results of the event was laying down ways for a possible co-operation.

Thanks to everyone for your participation!