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Terra Bella’s SkySat 3 Green Propulsion System Declared Operational

By Caleb Henry | August 5, 2016
      ECAPS HPGP green propulsion system

      The HPGP propulsion system module. Photo: ECAPS

      [Via Satellite 08-04-2016] SSC Group company ECAPS has confirmed that its High Performance Green Propulsion (HPGP) system on Terra Bella’s SkySat 3 satellite has been successfully commissioned on-orbit and declared fully operational. SkySat 3 launched aboard an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket into a 500 km Sun-Synchronous Orbit on June 22, 2016.

      ECAPS reported that commissioning of the HPGP propulsion system concluded approximately 48 hours post-launch. All initial data from the propulsion system has indicated nominal performance and the HPGP system is now being used for recurring orbit maintenance operations.

      According to ECAPS, HPGP technology provides both increased performance over monopropellant hydrazine and a more cost effective solution than a similarly sized hydrazine propulsion system when compared over a satellite mission’s life cycle.

      The company delivered the first complete HPGP propulsion system module to Terra Bella’s manufacturing partner Space Systems Loral (SSL) in September 2014 for integration into SkySat 3 — the first of Terra Bella’s satellites to be equipped with an orbit maneuvering capability.

      In addition to serving as the first flight unit, that initial HPGP module was also used to validate the overall propulsion system design for implementation on subsequent SkySat satellites. Production of the additional HPGP systems for Terra Bella continues at ECAPS in an assembly line manner, with additional deliveries occurring on a regular basis.