Regulator for Xenon Feed System

Technical Paper: Regulator for Xenon Feed System

Authored by Patrick Boyle, Engineer, Marotta Controls and Daniele Froliani, Propulsion Engineer, Thales Alenia Space

Abstract:  New propulsion capabilities necessary for all-electric satellites require advanced pressure feedback control systems with higher flow rates, particularly for electric orbit raising up to the geostationary ring. Electronic pressure regulation offers advantages in accuracy, remote adjustability, robustness, and lifetime stability when compared with equivalent mechanical regulators. Regulating xenon gas for propellant feed systems has particular challenges in this specific application due to Joule-Thompson cooling and the resulting 2-phase flow. This paper presents the development of a single-stage, cold-redundant, standalone electronic pressure regulation system which throttles xenon propellant flow using a normally-closed magnetostrictively-actuated proportional control valve operated with a dedicated electronic control unit. This paper will also emphasize design driver and system architecture with a focus on pressure control and thermal control aspects. The design, analysis, and extensive verification testing  will be described, and system models will be introduced to provide a correlation with test results and o support the product validation. 

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