Propellant gauging

NanoSpace is currently running a development project within ESA´s telecom programme ARTES 5.1 together with Astrium ST, Germany, as subcontractor. The project aims to design, manufacture and test a MEMS-based satellite propellant gauging system (PGS).

The gauging concept is based on a improved gas injection principle, using a MEMS differential pressure sensor (developed by Presens AS) as one of the key components. The subject propellant gauging system shall be able to precisely determine the residual propellant in orbit in order to predict the satellites end of life with better accuracy than is possible today. More specifically, the target is to develop a propellant gauging system that can reduce the operational uncertainty at telecommunication satellites end-of-life from typically several months down to a few weeks. In addition to high accuracy, the propellant gauging system shall be small, in terms of mass and volume, and the integration of the PGS into existing communication satellite platforms shall be possible with a minimum impact on the platform design.

Read more in our Propellant Gauging System data sheet.


Demonstrated characteristics  
Tank sizes 100–1,450 litres
Fluids or vapours MON, MMH, hydrazine
Pressurant gas Helium, nitrogen
MEOP 50 bar
Proof 62.5 bar
Burst 75 bar
Temperatures operating/non-operating 15–30 °C / -40–70 °C
Accuracy (2 years before EOL) ± 1 month
Design life 19 years
Mass < 3 kg (target 1.5 kg)


ESA contract ongoing


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Propellant gauging