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Development and qualification of 5N mono-propellant satellite thruster

Grant number: 03/07755-5
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: April 01, 2004 - October 31, 2006
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering - Aerospace Propulsion
Principal researcher:Humberto Pontes Cardoso
Grantee:Humberto Pontes Cardoso
Company:Fibraforte Engenharia Indústria e Comércio Ltda
City: São José dos Campos


Fibraforte is responsible for the supply of the Propulsion Sub-system for the Multimission Platform (PMM), under contract from the Brazilian Space Agency, and is interested in qualifying and supplying its own 5N thrusters, now in development, for this program. In order for these thrusters to meet the PMM requirements, they need to be subjected to an extensive qualification program, involving manufacturing processes, functional performance, environmental compatibility (vibration and thermic) and durability in the specified operation regimes. In addition to this, their propellant injection system needs to be refined, so as to reduce internal tensions on the catalytic bed, creating favorable conditions for the use of catalyzers with less mechanical resistance. There is also interest in nationalizing the iridium catalyzer supported on porous aluminum, a strategic component in the thruster which, historically, has been imported from the United States under strict controls by that country. It is proposed therefore, to carry out a qualification program for the 5N thruster and national catalyzer divided in the following stages: 1) development and functional and pre-qualification tests of the thruster; 2) functional tests of the national catalyzer; and 3) qualification tests for the 5N thruster and comparison between catalyzers. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
El Inpe bajo presión 
Amazonia in space 
Amazonia va al espacio 
Impulso espacial 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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