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​​​Consultancy to QinetiQ's Bepi Colombo Solar Electric Propulsion System


(Image courtesy of QinetiQ)​
  (Image courtesy of QinetiQ)  

​In addition to its own R&D activities, Mars Space Ltd (MSL) is actively supporting mature flight programs involving Electric Propulsion (EP). Consultancy services are provided to QinetiQ on the Solar Electric Propulsion System (SEPS) for the ESA/JAXA Bepi Colombo mission to Mercury, scheduled to be launched in 2014.

System Engineering suppo​​rt

MSL supports the System Engineering aspect of the program by providing capabilities such as Plasma Power Deposition Modelling of the T6 Gridded Ion Engine (GIE), which forms an input into the thruster's thermal and structural models.

Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV) activities

Including, but not limited to, diagnostic design, data reduction and testing support on both engine and SEPS levels.

Hollow Cathode (HC) design

Including, but not limited to, manufacture, testing and lifetime assessment of both main discharge and neutraliser HCs.

Ion optics design, modelling and lifetime assessment

MSL runs a variety of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) ion optics models to assess the erosion and lifetime of the T6 GIE gridset.​​​