European Space Agency

PPU for Full Electric SATCOM: qualification phase


Since the early 2000’s, TAS-B (ETCA) develops Power Propulsion Units (PPU) to operate Hall Effect Thrusters (HET). Current PPU (Mk1- Mk2) supplies 1.5kW – 2.5kW HET used for SATCOM North South Station Keeping. PPU Mk3 is dedicated to 5kW HET for SATCOM Orbit Raising with Electric Propulsion.


Compatibility with the different European Platforms and thrusters.


The output of the qualification is to provide a fully qualified PPU Mk3 with different environment such as SpacebusNEO and E3000 and easily adaptable to others platforms such as ELECTRA

Coupled tests have been performed with SPT140-D, PPS5000 and XR-5.


The PPU provides 5kW with high voltage (400V) for the thruster discharge, supplies the cathode and drives the thruster start-up.

The main challenges of the PPU design are a high efficiency and a long operational life time.


  • Performed PPU Mk3 QM manufacturing
  • Performed PPU Mk3 QM qualification tests including performances, mechanical, EMC, vacuum and corona
  • Hold the reviews MRR, TRR, TRB/DRB
  • Performed components qualification such as relay, magnetics and SMD/through hole components according to the mission life profile and requirements
  • Issue whole qualification data package

Current status

The PPU Mk3 specification was reviewed with the Primes and thruster manufacturers.

The design has been completed. The PPU Mk3 has been fully qualified ; component qualification have also been completed.

Coupled test with SPT140-D, XR5 and PPS5000 thrusters have been successfully performed.

The whole data package have been provided and the final review held.

Several flight models have already been manufactured and delivered to different customers.

Status date

Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 11:35