ExoTerra has been awarded a NASA Tipping Point contract to demonstrate its Courier 12U Solar Electric Propulsion microsatellite. The project will perform a flight demonstration in December of 2021 of several technologies being developed by ExoTerra, including its Halo micro Hall Effect Thruster, Fold-Out Solar Arrays, Radiation Tolerant Power Distribution System, and Thrust Vector Control mechanism. The Courier Bus boasts >1200 m/s of delta-V, up to 295 W of power, and 100 kRad tolerant electronics. The project serves as a first flight demonstration of the Halo Hall Effect Thruster, which provides up to 30 mN of thrust and 1500 s of Isp while operating between 150-450W. Halo weighs just .67 kg and occupies less the 1/4U, making it an ideal propulsion solution for CubeSats. The flight also demonstrates our Fold-Out Solar Arrays. These arrays sport a 160W/kg specific power to generate mass efficient power for the EP system, telecommunications, and payloads. The power electronics are designed to handle 100 kRad total ionizing dose to support higher orbits and commercial reliability.
NASA’s Tipping Point Program is a Public-Private Partnership to reach NASA’s goals in space. The program focuses on collaborations between NASA and the commercial industry to accelerate the infusion of emerging technologies into NASA missions.