The modular design of the IFM 350 Nano Thruster allows for an easy clustering to various configurations. This introduces an inherent redundancy of the system, as each module is completely independent.
The thruster uses a liquid metal propellant which allows for the extremely high density of the system and provides the advantage that the complete propulsion unit is completely inert during the launch. On the other hand, the deposition of metal on surfaces that are within the plume of the thruster has to be taken into account.
Sample Configuration for a
70kg / 200W Satellite
The configuration of seven modules fits into a 15 inch (38cm) separation ring, allows for 2.4 mN of continuous thrust at 200W and a total impulse of more than 38 kNs with 1.5 kg of propellant.
Performance Envelope for the IFM 350 Nano
The IFM 350 Nano is a very flexible thruster, that can operate at an Isp range of 2000 to 5000 s. At any given thrust point, higher Isp operation will increase the total impulse while it will also increase the power demand. The thruster can be operated along the full dynamic range throughout the mission. That means, that high Isp and low Isp maneuvers can be included in a mission planning, as well as high thrust orbit maneuver and low thrust precision control maneuvers for formation flight.
The following figures show the performance of the 7 module configuration. The Subsystem Power includes all inefficiencies of the PPU as well as the power required to heat the propellant. However, the thruster is quite versatile in the sense that for example voltage/current characteristics can be altered to meet specific performance targets. It is therefore recommended to contact us as soon as preliminarymission requirements are available. We will be happy to calculate for you what performance you can expect for your application.
It should be noted, that while the power to thrust ratio is higher than for HET or GIE thruster, the IFM Nano thruster has a Total Impulse Density which is about 10 times higher than the one of Xe-based Technologies.
The figures represent different possibilities of how to operate the 7 modules. In first three, all modules are being started at the same time, while in later three, one module is being started first and then every 330µN another one is being added.
A highly versatile modular concept
The modular approach of the IFM Nano Thruster allows for a large number of possible mission advantages, including attitude control capabilities.
Orbit Life Extension
Mission extension ranging from weeks to years, especially in low altitude orbits with increased resolution for earth remote sensing such as imaging applications
Gain flexibility in the choice of a suitable launch opportunity, including a cheap ISS deployment
Formation Flying and Constellation Control
Controlling inter-satellite distance in the orbital plane
Highly efficient deorbiting
Efficiently deorbit a small satellite from a higher orbit to comply with international Space-Debris Regulations or perform an EOL maneuver putting it in a graveyard orbit
Safe and Inert System compliant with all Launcher Requirements
The thruster uses liquid metals as propellant. The propellant is in its solid state at room temperature. Avoiding any liquid and reactive propellants as well as pressurized tanks significantly simplifies handling, integration and launch procedures.