Miniaturized Pressure Regulator (mPRS)
Start date: Sep 23, 2013,
End date: Jan 1, 2017
The proposed project “mPRS” comprises the development of a miniaturized pressure regulation system with ultra low leakage, high reliability and an end-of-life venting capability (passivation) of tanks. Most of the space propulsion systems require a pressure regulation system (PRS) to have a constant inlet pressure of the propellant feed system. In the case of chemical propulsion systems the constant pressure is needed to repressurize the tanks as a prerequisite of a constant propellant flow. A PRS is also required for cold gas or electric propulsion systems. In this case the PRS provides the propellant flow either directly to the thrusters or to the inlet of subsequent flow control units. Common to all applications is the need, to reduce the tank pressure of several hundred bars at begin of mission, down to a low pressure between 2 and 20 bars to supply the thrusters. The PRS is a core element that is critical for mission success. Therefore a high reliability strategy with internal redundancies is mandatory. The proposed pressure regulator “mPRS” consists of three branches of three serial redundant valves in each branch. Two branches have a fixed configuration to form a redundant pressure regulator. The third branch can either be used to increase the redundancy or to allow a venting of the gas feeding system and the tanks at the end of the mission. The mPRS has the capability to control the pressure of the venting process. This allows advanced concepts to supply cold gas thrusters with the residual pressurized gas (still 20 bar at EOL) during a deorbit or graveyard maneuver.
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