ECAPS success stories

ECAPS in-space demonstrations of HPGP successfully completed

(17 December 2010) After six months in space, ECAPS flight demonstration of the HPGP system within the PRISMA basic mission was successfully completed and all test objectives were met. The expected specific impulse improvement of 6%, and a density impulse improvement of 30% for the HPGP system with respect to hydrazine of has been verified

The PRISMA launch campaign demonstrated significant reduced risk, lead time and cost using HPGP

HPGP on-orbit operations

(7 May 2012) The PRISMA mission is on-going. More than 314 HPGP specific firing sequences have up till now been performed in orbit, consisting in total of more than 50,000 pulses with an accumulated firing time of 3 hours. Each firing sequence has contained between 1 and 600 pulses and the firing durations have been between 50 ms and 75 sec. To date a burn time of more than 3 hours has been accumulated and 63% of the propellant has been consumed. The HPGP propulsion system has been operated in the following operational firing modes:

  • Quasi Steady-State (Continuous firing)
  • Pulse Mode (Duty factors between 0.15 to 50 %)
  • Off-Modulation (Duty factors between 50 to 99 %)
  • Single Pulse (Single pulses or Duty factors)

Back-to-back performance measurements between the HPGP and Hydrazine propulsion systems show that the average Isp is 8% higher for LMP-103S than compared to hydrazine. As a result of the successful demonstrations on PRISMA, it is concluded that HPGP technology has been proven technology for improved performance, enhanced volumetric efficiency, reduction of propellant handling hazards and significantly shorter and simplified pre-launch operations. The PRISMA mission is ongoing and is planned to be extended for at least six months, with the HPGP system providing ΔV for new mission objectives.