Project Introduction 

PRECISE focuses on the research and development of a MEMS-based monopropellant micro Chemical Propulsion System (µCPS) for highly accurate attitude control of satellites.

The availability of micro Chemical Propulsion Systems forms the basis for defining new mission concepts such as formation flying, advanced robotic missions and rendezvous maneuvers. These concepts require propulsion systems for precise attitude and orbit control manoeuvrability. 

PRECISE provides a stepping stone along the ESA-µCPS roadmap.

μCPS has been identified by ESA to fill the gap between state-of-the-art electrical and chemical propulsion due to its compactness, low power requirements and low system weight. A revolutionary feature is its highly compact, lightweight and modular architecture, e.g. the micro thruster is etched on a silicon wafer and weighs only a few grams. PRECISE combines European capabilities and know-how from universities, research organisations and experienced space companies for the research and development of a μCPS for future market demands.
PRECISE should contribute to improve the aimed integration of European R&D within a European µCPS Technology Network.

Basic research will be conducted aiming at improving crucial MEMS technologies required for the propulsion system. Research and development will also focus on the efficiency and reliability of critical system components. System analysis tools will be enhanced to complement the development stages. In addition, application-oriented aspects will be addressed by two end-users who are planning a formation flying mission for which the propulsion system is crucial. Finally, the μCPS will be tested in a simulated space vacuum environment. These experiments will deliver data for the validation of the numerical models.

 What is the project designed to achieve?

PRECISE aims for the development of a µCPS necessary for highly accurate attitude control of satellites. The project considers research of propulsion aspects, the development of crucial components, numerical tools and test facility diagnostics. Finally, hot gas tests will be conducted under space-like vacuum conditions.
How does this project benefit European citizens?
PRECISE delivers European mission planners and universities a propulsion system sought for planned and future space exploration missions. The MEMS-based µCPS is considered as one of the key technologies for future satellite missions due to its low power requirements and system weight.


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