We successfully ignited the smallest HET ever designed
Our team successfully proceeded to multiple ignitions of our Hall Effect Thruster (HET) at Plateforme d’Intégrations et Tests (OVSQ/CNRS) in December 2017. This is a major milestone for Exotrail, after 18 months of technical development. We have worked with the LAPLACE/GREPHE laboratory based in Toulouse – world expert in plasma physics applied to space propulsion – for the design of our thruster in order to optimise its performances. This thruster is the smallest Hall Effect Thruster ever designed and successfully ignited in the world.
The rest of the technical development is also going according to plan. Exotrail is aiming at developing a fully integrated thruster with all the necessary components (cathode, fluidics, electronics). We have successfully tested all the key sub-systems and are on our track to have a first version of our integrated system in mid-2018, only two years after the beginning of our development.
This is the result of a great team work but also of the help of our partners – SATT Paris-Saclay, who has been funding our technical development since mid-2016, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Synchrotron Soleil and the Université Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines.
Exotrail is developing a range of electric propulsion systems for small satellites (10-100kg). Thanks to the use of Hall Effect technology, our thruster boasts a superior thrust-to-power ratio than competing systems. A high thrust means that you can access your operational orbit quicker than with other technologies (3 to 6 times quicker than FEEP, VAT or GIT electric thrusters) or double the power available for your main payload (vs. the same competing technologies). We provide the best balance between the high fuel efficiency brought by electric technologies and the highest thrust-to-power ratio. We will start official pre-orders in 2019, but you can contact us right now for more info.
© CNRS/UVSQ/SATT Paris-Saclay