IFM Nano Thruster COTS+
Field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) propulsion technology for precise orbit control of scientific satellites in formation flight was developed at FOTEC with support from ESA for more than 15 years. ENPULSION has been founded as a Spin-Out company from FOTEC to meet the market demand for small satellite propulsion by introducing mass production techniques. The resulting IFM Nano Thruster was commercialized for low-cost, small satellites aiming at rapid design and short lifecycles.
While the required power to operate the IFM Nano Thruster COTS+ starts at around 8 W, at higher power levels one can choose between high thrust and high specific impulse operation. The IFM Nano Thruster COTS+ can operate at an isp range of 2,000 to 6,000 seconds.
At any given thrust point, higher isp operation will increase the total impulse, while also increasing the power demand. The thruster can be operated along the full dynamic range throughout the mission. This means that high isp and low isp maneuvers can be included in a mission planning as well as high thrust orbit maneuvers and low thrust precision control maneuvers.