Gridded Ion Engine Standardised Electric Propulsion Platforms

The consortium proposes an innovative activity to develop, build and test to TRL5 the first European Plug and Play Gridded Ion Engine Standardised Electric Propulsion Platform (GIESEPP) to operate Airbus Safran Launchers and QinetiQ Space ion engines. These are the only European ion engines in the 200-700W (LEO) and 5kW (GEO) domains that are space-proven, and the consortium’s intention will be to improve European competitiveness and to maintain and secure the European non-dependence in this field.

The project will design and develop a standardised electric propulsion platform for 200-700W and 5kW applications, which has the capability to run either Airbus Safran Launchers or QinetiQ thrusters. In addition, the 5kW electric propulsion system will be designed to allow clustering for 20kW EPS for space transportation, exploration and interplanetary missions. In order to cope with challenging mission scenarios, Dual Mode functionality of the thrusters will be realised. This ensures that the beneficial high Isp characteristics of Gridded Ion Engines are maintained, whilst also offering a competitive higher thrust mode. The GIESEPP systems will not be limited to xenon as an operating medium; assessments will be performed to ensure functionality with alternative propellants.

The approach to system standardisation and the resulting solutions will provide highly cost competitive and innovative EPS for current and future satellite markets, whilst meeting the cost efficiency requirements.

The activity will also provide the roadmap to higher TRL by 2023-2024, providing a cost competitive EPS.

For further information visit the GIESEPP web (