Electric Propulsion

PAPE PAPE - Electric Propulsion
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The Electric Propulsion is at a crossroad of its history. Indeed, it is now widely used on commercial satellites for North-South Station Keeping (NSSK)  maneuvers. But the significant mass savings, associated with recent in-flight achievement, allow perspectives which were not possible before. Thus, the electric propulsion technology  is not only foreseen for operations of station keeping but also for orbit raising of geostationary/navigation satellites, which opens a considerable market.

Moreover, Nano-satellites are new comers for space applications which can benefit from electric propulsion systems. Besides, guiding and controlling very small satellite trajectories as well as their orbital drift requires compact and robust electric propulsive systems. This is why new innovative and efficient propulsion systems are needed, and new paths have to be explored.

This turning point means a deep thinking about this new game changing brought by electric propulsion:


  • in the short term, propulsion subsystems shall be suited to these new applications and shall increase their competitiveness (GEO, telecom),
  • in the middle term, the new product line will have to meet the needs of futures missions (LEO, constellations, nanosat),
  • in the long term, breakthrough has to be performed for more ambitious missions (space-Tug, far-off explorations, …).


This COMET deals with all the topics related to  electric propulsion  from the fundamental physics at play to the technology developments.

The Community will support open innovation initiatives and any activities that could foster cross exchanges between experts from space and beyond. The COMET is open to worldwide contributions.

The COMET  can provide logistic supply (room for meetings, webconf plateform, etc…) and sponsoring.


Actions that could be undertook are:

  • Dissemination of information
    • Presentation of R&T activities outcomes
    • Presentation and Benchmarking of simulation tools
    • RoadMap sharing, ...
  • Set up working group to identify major topics of interest and work on it
  • Visit experimental facilities
  • Seminar, Lectures, training session

Outcomes could be :

  • Cooperation with shared R&T activities, co-management of a Ph.D. thesis or of trainee, etc…
  • Publications, position paper
  • Share data base
  • Definition of a benchmark, experiment
  • Preparation of a shared Roadmap
  • Etc…
  • Yann Charront
    Chef de service
  • Lilian Prévost
    Expert senior propulsion lanceur
  • 3 June 2024
    from 08H30 to 17H30
    Find out more

    Workshop : applications spatiales du H2O2

    PAPE - Electric Propulsion
    Le COMET SPS est une communauté d’experts constituée à l’initiative du CNES et contribuant à l’innovation dans le domaine de la propulsion spatiale. Dans le cadre du développement de la thématique du peroxyde d’hydrogène en France, vous êtes conviés à participer au premier Workshop : applications spatiales du H2O2. Des besoins de plus en plus importants pour les acteurs du spatial et des initiatives pour y répondre ont d’ores et déjà pu être ...
    • CNES Daumesnil, Paris, France
    • FR
    • No videoconference
    • Public
  • 13 June 2019
    from 09H00 to 17H00
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    Plasma plume effects in the context of electric propulsion : a state of play

    PAPE - Electric Propulsion
    Electric propulsion offers advantages for many missions and applications, but like many spacecraft systems, integration of electric thrusters on spacecraft can lead to significant systems engineering challenges. Assessing thruster plume characteristics and interactions with the spacecraft are crucial to determine thruster positions and other spacecraft design issues. The purpose of the workshop was to draw up a state of play of these plasma plume effects. The program of the day was the ...
    • Amphi 4 - ISAE, TOULOUSE, France
    • EN
    • No videoconference
    • Public