News | 24.05.2018

SPACE DRONE™ based on Gridded Ion Engines

The SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft from Effective Space will be propelled to new heights with the aid of an electric propulsion system thanks to a new partnership the company have formed with ArianeGroup. Effective Space has already announced that the SPACE DRONE™ will be sent into space by U.S based International Launch Services (ILS), but once there, the drone needs to reach a geostationary orbit in order to service ageing satellites. To do this, the SPACE DRONE will employ four of ArianeGroup’s Arclight Radio Frequency Ion Thrusters (Gridded Ion Engines).

Apart from being highly efficient, another advantage of the Arclight electric propulsion system is that it is compact and lightweight. Its small form factor will help to limit the weight of the SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft to approximately 400kg, which in turn reduces launch costs.

ArianeGroup, which is the lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, is already a leader in state-of-the-art propulsion technologies and the Arclight’s customisable in orbit service modes will assist the SPACE DRONE™ in completing its various mission phases.

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