You are here: Home page / News & Events / ACS Vacuum chamber described in CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) paper presented at the Conference Space Propulsion 2018

ACS Vacuum chamber described in CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) paper presented at the Conference Space Propulsion 2018

Data: 4 June 2018 / Sevilla, Spain

CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) presented at the Conference Space Propulsion 2018  (Siviglia 14-18 May 2018)  a paper titled: “Activities on Electric Space Propulsion at Italian Aerospace Research Centre: main achievements and outlook”


“Electric Propulsion (EP) is considered a key technology for applications in present and future space missions. Primary propulsion systems, based on EP, are already adopted for different applications from high altitude orbit raising to orbit transfer missions, or, for example, until interplanetary scientific missions, requiring high impulse characteristics. The present paper gives an overview of CIRA development plan on EP with the first achieved goals. The development plan has the main aim at joining the EP scientific community and enabling cooperation programs, by developing state-of-the-art testing capabilities in order to promote Italy as one of the European reference nations for electric space propulsion. The plan starts with the realization of two facilities, oriented to low (MSVC, < 5 kW) and high power thrusters (LSVC, >25 kW), considering Hall Effect based motors as the reference technology in the early phase. All the facilities will be provided with advanced diagnostics, taking advantage of CIRA knowhow, applied to other fields. Moreover, a first impulse will be given in the first implementation of design and modelling activities with the aim of developing capabilities for the complete electric propulsion systems.” (taken from the abstract)


Angelantoni Test Technologies (ATT) realized the preliminary design  of  MSVC (Medium Scale Vacuum Chamber)  for CIRA in  April 2016 while the final phase was accomplished in May 2017 at their Massa Martana plant, in Italy.  From November 2017 the manufacturing phase has started and is currently on-going. The delivery and installation of the simulator at CIRA premises is foreseen in June 2018.


The  MSVC consists  of  a  single  body vacuum  chamber  made  of  stainless  steel,  2.0 m in diameter and  a length of about 4.5 m. The chamber is able  to  accommodate  the  thruster on  the  thrust stand and  its  electrical  and  gas feeding  subsystems  and  to allow  a  free  expansion  of  the  plume  reducing  the interactions with chamber walls and accommodates the main pumping system.


We are proud to quote from CIRA’s acknowledgments: “Moreover, we would  like  to  express  our gratitude  to all  the  ATT  personnel, involved  in  MSVC design  and  manufacturing  phases,  for  their  precious cooperation.”


Click the download button for the complete article