Development of a Miniaturized Pressure Regulator System "mPRS"
International Electric Propulsion Conference 2015, Kobe, IEPC-2015-365

An electronic pressure regulator provides a flow independent outlet pressure and an in-flight adjustable set point. These advantages compared to a mechanical regulator are paid with increased mass, size and very often a large pressure ripple. AST Advanced Space Technologies GmbH develops a new miniaturized electronic pressure regulator (mPRS) to overcome these drawbacks. The project is funded by the European Commission via its FP7 program. The new technology is based on AST's fluidic surface mounted devices technology (fSMD) that has already been used for a miniaturized xenon flow control unit. The new pressure regulator shall provide an in-flight adjustable outlet pressure between 1 and 25 bar at an inlet pressure of up to 350 bar. During the first year of development the major processes like high pressure proof electron beam welding have been developed and verified. The feasibility has been demonstrated for an elegant bread board model (EBB). The test was conducted with lab equipment but also in a full functional line including the mPRS, a flow control unit and an ion thruster (RIT-22 and μN-RIT) .

Into Space - EU Space Research
Published by the EC publication office