2019.B.3.5. Innovative Xenon/Krypton FMS (Feed Management System) for Electric Propulsion


Pascal Barbier (1)
Simon Carpentier (1)
Yoann Fendler (1)
Eric Guilbaud (1)

  1. Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, France




FMS, Xenon, Krypton, PMA, Cubesat, MFV, Proportional Valve, Regulation Valve


Air Liquide is developing a competitive and disruptive Feed Management System (FMS) for electric propulsion. It is based on a new regulation valve (MFV as Multi-Function Valve) which regulates the flow rate in a single stage. This very light valve (developed with the support of CNES), less than 10 grams, acts as a pressure regulator and flow regulator. The MFV is derived from a helium pressure regulator onboard Rosetta Philae and will be onboard ExoMars 2020 rover.

The Air Liquide FMS proposes a simple and reliable design compatible with Xenon and Krypton propellant, up to 340 bar MEOP. The FMS addresses a wide range of thruster technologies and needs, from some tens of Watts to 5kW (ie for a propellant flow rate from 0.03 mg/s to 20mg/s). This simple design leads to a lighter and less energy-consuming FMS.
The FMS is driven by a closed loop, either by using at FMS level a pressure sensor or at system level the thruster discharge current. Thus it allows to find the optimum solution regarding response time and stability of the gas mass flow.
This FMS is derived from a cubesat PMA (FMS + tank), which can be integrated in 1U, developed in 2018 and that will flown in 2019.

This paper presents the PMA developed in 2018 that will flown in 2019 and the new FMS design, which integrates 2018 PMA feedback of experience and the results of a design to cost phase. This new FMS can be integrated in a 0,5U.


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