TEST RESULTS OF A HIGH-SPEED SOLENOID VALVE FOR THE ELECTRIC PROPULSION FEED SYSTEM
Today in the world there are many electric propulsion systems based on the different types of thrusters. Most of them used gaseous propellent. Typical Electric propulsion system (EPS) consists of following main subsystems: the electric propulsion thruster that creates thrust; the power-processing and control unit which provides energy to all subsystems; the storage and feed system that performs functions of storing working substance in the tank and supplying the required amount of working substance to the thruster; Solenoid valve is a part of storage and feed systems. The feed system is an essential part of any electric propulsion system. The life cycle of the feed system is largely determined by lifetime of the valves and the amount of working substance in tank. Whereas the amount of working substance is selected based on the requirements for each specific mission valve parameters must be satisfying for various missions. Accordingly, the valves must have low power consumption, high reliability with a long lifetime (more than 106 cycles), low weight and dimensions. Solenoid valve is an electromechanical device that consists of moving part controlled by an electromagnet. Movement of the movable element and the seal are key parts of valve reliability. Presented solenoid valve design uses two membranes, which perform the function of centering the moving element and with the spring provide the required closing speed and the seal of the valve. The paper presents the problem of selecting critical elements that affect the solenoid valve's performance, procedure and test results required for the qualification of space equipment. Manufactured valve was successfully tested (vibration testing, response time testing with inlet pressure change, response time testing at different operating voltages, dependence of the valve actuation current on the operating voltage, temperature testing, lifetime tests) separately and as part of XFS according to the ECSS standards. As well as the successful implementation of presented valve into the flight xenon feed system for electric propulsion.
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