The objective of the activity is to design, manufacture and test a thruster switching unit facilitating the connection of multiple electric propulsion thrusters to one or more power processing units for redundancy or configuration purposes optimising the system architecture.Targeted Improvements: - Improved efficiency (10% increase with respect to solid state solution).- Increased reliability with respect to a relay-based solution.- Reduced level of complexity on system-/equipment level.- Lead time reduction/time tomanufacture and test by 30%.Description: Nowadays relatively complex high voltage switching units are used for electric propulsion applications, with some difficulties to procure critical key components.In electric propulsion systems, cross-switching of a high voltage is required due to the reliability/redundancy requirements (switching between main/redundant), the reconfigurability (switching high voltage converters between station keeping and orbit raising) or thrust vectoring. For lower voltage levels Hall Effect Thrusters (HET) conventional relays are currently a suitable technical solution, although it is rather complex with demands in mass andsize. However, for higher voltages including high specific impulse HET (or such operating in dual mode), ion engines relays become a significant challenge. There are typically not many alternatives, and the procurement is challenging. An electromechanical solution tailored for the application in electric propulsion could very efficiently switch several channels at once, without the use of high voltage relays. Such a switch can include all low and high voltage lines needed to operate the thrusters, which will therefore result in the replacement of many relays by one single switching component. Additionally, compared to a semiconductor-based solution, asignificantly improved efficiency and reliability is expected with an electromechanical device. An electromechanical multiline switch engineering model shall be designed and tested to evaluate its efficiency compared to a semiconductor solution.

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