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Cold-gas Micropropulsion Systems

Spacecraft Subsystems

ALMASpace cold gas micropropulsion system has been designed for micro and small satellite platforms in the 10kg to 100kg mass range. MEMS-based technology has been used for microthruster realization. The throat size is 40 micron. The entire system consists of a Nitrogen Propellant Tank, a fill valve, two pressure transducer, an isolation valve and electric motor for its actuation, a pressure regulator, 14 solenoid microvalves and 12 microthrusters mounted in pod configuration (four groups of three thrusters).

ALMASpace Cold-gas Micropropulsion System

The control electronics uses an 8 bit microcontroller that collect data from pressure sensors, control the valve, communicate with other subsystem and execute the algorithms needed to perform attitude control manoeuvres. Because of the large amount of valves a combination of shift register SIPO and PISO is used to actuate the valve drivers from the microcontroller.

The low impulse bit achievable, about 0.1 mN*s, makes the ALMASpace Cold Gas Micropropulsion system suitable to obtain very high resolution and pointing accuracy.

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