Helicon Plasma Hydrazine. COmbined Micro
Towards the next generation of spacecraft
The Helicon Plasma Hydrazine.combined micro (HPH.com) is a Collaborative project of the VII Framework Program of the European Union on the issue SPACE-Space Transportation (Call FP7-SPACE -2007-1) which was selected by the European Community for funding and for which the University of Padua - CISAS plays the role of coordinator.
The aim of the HPH.com project is to develop a space plasma thrusters based on helicon antennas. The great innovation of this technology lies on its extreme scalability, that allows it to be used both in the field of small pushes for position control and satellite-formations attitude, and for the primary propulsion for interplanetary probes. The uniqueness of the project lies in developing an engine that can operate in high-efficiency / low-thrust with only plasma and plasma-hydrazine in the way of low-efficiency / high-thrust. In this particular area is one of the most extensive and ambitious so far conducted all over the world, and the unique of such a large scale ever undertaken in Europe. The end result will be not only an operating technology demonstrator, but also the development of numerical codes and highly innovative methodologies that allow for significant advances in the development of both ion thrusters and plasma propellers based on radio-frequency sources, and also in developing advanced plasma sources for industrial applications.
The CISAS, Center of Studies and Activities for Space "G. Colombo", University of Padova, plays the role of coordinator of an international consortium comprising 15 European groups, between research institutes, large companies and small medium-sized aerospace companies from five European countries (Italy, France, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark) and two research centers located in Russia and Ukraine.