China’s new generation of satellite electric propulsion system will turn on in-orbit verification

With the successful launch of the 20th satellite, the LIPS-300 ion electric propulsion system, which is on the platform, began its space journey. Reporters from China Aerospace Science and Technology Group Co. , Ltd. 510 learned that the LIPS-300 ion electric propulsion system by the Institute’s independent development, with full intellectual property rights.

In 2017, the LIPS-200 ion electric propulsion system developed by the Institute was carried on the practice of the 13th satellite to achieve the first application of electric propulsion technology on Chinese satellites, marking the official step towards the engineering application stage of China’s electric propulsion technology.

China's new generation of satellite electric propulsion system will turn on in-orbit verification

Geng Hai, general manager of 510 electric propulsion division, said that the LIPS-300 ion electric propulsion system on the practice of the 20th satellite is five times higher than the LIPS-200 ion electric propulsion system thrust, its speed can reach more than 35,000 meters per second, in-orbit applicationfrom from the north-south position to maintain a single mission to expand into satellite orbit, Posture hold and momentum wheel unloading and other tasks. This flight verification is the first time that the LIPS-300 electric propulsion system is in orbit, and it is also the first time that the domestic 5 kW electric propulsion system is in orbit.

Like automotive engines, propulsion systems are one of the core sub-systems of spacecraft. The spacecraft’s attitude adjustment and orbit control operations in space require propulsion systems to provide power, with conventional propulsion systems generating thrust from chemical combustion and electric propulsion systems generating thrust by spewing high-speed charged particles.

“The process of developing the LIPS-300 ion electric propulsion system is not easy, and the researchers have achieved several technological breakthroughs based on more than 40 years of technical research, and overcome the difficult problems of high voltage, high-power power supply technology in the space environment long life and reliable use. Geng Hai said.

Wang Xiaojun, director of 510, said that electric propulsion technology has become more and more popular in recent years, and the proportion of spacecraft using electric propulsion systems in the future is expected to expand further.

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