Project Summary
Propulsion is one of the key technologies for space probes and satellites. Most of the propulsion systems require a constant inlet pressure that has to be provided by the pressurized gas supply system. It is essential for Europe to have independent access to such technologies. 

During the "mPRS- miniaturized pressure regulator system" project, flow control components shall be developed towards high pressures of up to 350 bars (operational) within the application of a pressure regulation system. All components shall be developed and manufactured in Europe to guarantee a free and unrestricted access of European space manufacturers. 

The mPRS design bases on a technological concept developed under the FP7 project "µFCU" started end 2011. The so-called "fluidic surface mounted devices fSMD™" already demonstrated impressive advantages over state-of-the-art fluidic components for applications up to 10 bars. With fSMD complex fluidic systems are reduced in size, mass and cost while the quality is improved due to the semi-automated production process. This process is ready for series production of large quantities required by modern megaconstellation projects. The spin-in of commercial hirel components technologies has further reduced the hardware costs. 

The key components covered by mPRS are high pressure solenoid valves, the fSMDTM flow path board, the pressure sensors and the electronic pressure regulator (EPR) unit. The development of each of the components will reduce Europe's dependence in the related niche. The main objectives of the project are the development of the electronic pressure regulator system together with all required components. The mPRS system shall yield very low leakages of less than 10-6 scc/s GHe to reduce propellant loss and pressure rise in the downstream system.
The first project year (2014) highlighted the component design and feasibility demonstrated. Also a detailed manufacturing process development had been started. During the second year the key components have now reached engineering model level (EM) and demonstrated their function and performance. The stabilized manufacturing processes have been used to build a first set of EM EPRs and standalone components (filters, pressure sensors, high pressure valves).

In December 2015 first tests of the EPR have been started and showing good results. The new components and the EPR subsystem have raised strong interest of customers. Several early stage tests with electric propulsion systems have been conducted successfully. For these tests a pressure regulator developed under mPRS was combined with AST's flow control unit "µFCU" to form a complete propellant management system. 
The EPR shall be readied for unit qualification within 2016. The commercial evaluation process together with key customers has already started. Further spin-off potential of the generated knowledge and technologies e.g. for automotive fuel cells or aerospace applications is under investigation. 

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 607013