Safran, Terran Orbital partner to produce satellite electric propulsion systems

July 7, 2023  - By


Image: Terran Orbital

Image: Terran Orbital

Safran Electronics & Defense and Terran Orbital have partnered to study and validate the prerequisites to produce an electric propulsion system for satellites in the United States, based on Safran’s PPSX00 plasma thruster.

Under the partnership, Safran and Terran Orbital will investigate the technical, industrial and economic prerequisites for Safran’s PPSX00 plasma thrusters are designed to meet the mobility requirements of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, such as offering a higher degree of spacecraft maneuverability to avoid collisions and a system to safely deorbit LEO satellites at the end of their service life.

“Our alliance with Terran Orbital will contribute to the emergence of a complementary source of supply for electric propulsion systems to meet the growing needs of the space industry,” Jean-Marie Bétermier, senior vice president of space, Safran Electronics & Defense, said.

Electric propulsion uses electrical and/or magnetic fields to accelerate mass to high speed – thus, generating thrust to modify the velocity of a spacecraft in orbit.