The challenge of this strategic research cluster (SRC) is to enable major advances in Electric Propulsion (EP) for in-space operations and transportation, in order to contribute to guarantee the leadership through competitiveness and non-dependence of European capabilities in electric propulsion at world level within the 2020-2030 timeframe, always in coherence with the existing and planned developments at national, commercial and ESA level. The specific challenge of this action is to enable faster maturation of promising disruptive thruster concepts and technologies, as a necessary step towards demonstration actions. The detailed challenges are elaborated in the guidelines document 'EPIC Roadmap'Scope:
A disruptive electric propulsion technology is a technology that disrupts a status quo in the space sector. It could replace the dominant technology by providing radical improvements in performance or costs which are perceived as valuable by a customer or part of the market, or it opens up new opportunities not possible with the incumbent technology. Emerging technologies that are potentially ‘disruptive’ often underperform compared to the dominant technology in early development phases – the underlying physics may not be fully understood for example and more R&D is required to properly ascertain performance attributes. Examples can be: disruptive improvement of performances, enabling of new operational scenarios, reducing costs of the full system etc.
Proposals shall cover one of the following:
Proposals may target any part of the technology readiness levels (TRL) scale, in particular:
Proposals shall include a market analysis detailing the targeted applications and the specific key advantages of the proposed technology. Every disruptive effect shall be specifically correlated with its final application
Proposals shall not be based on technology lines mentioned in the call topic COMPET-3-2016-a for incremental EP technologies.
The Commission considers that proposals for the disruptive technologies requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 million for activities starting from TRL < 4 and of EUR 1 to 2 million for activities starting from TRL ≥ 4 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
Hall Effect Thrusters (HET); Gridded Ion Engines (GIE); High Efficiency Multistage Plasma Thrusters (HEMPT)