The past week two new research programmes sponsored by the EU through the Framwork Programme 7 has been kicked off.
One of the projects, named ESAIL, aims at developing the key technologies for an electrical solar sail. The electric solar sail concept is invented at the Finnish Meteorological Institute who is also leading the consortium of 9 partners from 5 European countries. NanoSpace is proud to be part of this project, and will contribute with know-how on MEMS technology and propulsion for space.
ESAIL project website
The other project, named Microthrust, is also about space propulsion. More specifically, this project aims at developing a miniaturised propulsion system using colloid thrusters. A major objective of this work is to develop a system suitable for nanosatellites (1-10 kg). Today, propulsion is rarely used on nanosatellites, which limits their capability to perform a variety of missions. The work is led by Êcole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, Switzerland with partners in the Netherlands, England and Sweden.
Microthrust project website