Demonstration and validation of vacuum arc propulsion in space
The experiment is a propulsion module (PM) designed to provide maneuvering capability for nano-satellites. The PM is based on the inline-screw-feeding vacuum-arc-thruster (ISF-VAT) developed for the past six years at the Asher Space Research Institute, Technion, and commercialized by Space Plasmatics LTD. This is the first demonstration of ISF-VAT operation in space. The experiment will be conducted outside the International Space Station inside Alpha Space’s MISSE instrument. The test will include 24 h of thruster operation. Recorded data will include imagining of thruster plume, power, and temperature measurements. Upon completion the PM will be returned to Earth for further inspection.