Combining 40 years of experience and  a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet's – and our solar system’s - resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.4 billion euros in 2016 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries.
Within HV-EPSA project, Thales Alenia Space is the Project Coordinator, responsible for HV-EPSA's technical, administrative and financial management.

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RUAG Space

RUAG Space (RS) is a Swiss high technology company with its Space Division consisting of the three sites Nyon, Emmen and Zürich in Switzerland, one site in Sweden, one site in Austria, and one site in Finland. Together with five other divisions it forms the RUAG Group.

The RUAG group is mainly active in Space and Defence programmes and employs about 8’173 people through its five Division. The Group’s shareholder is the Swiss Confederation and works as a joint stock company under private law since 1999.

RUAG Space’s core competencies, gained during many years of successful work for various challenging space projects are: - Development, manufacturing, assembly/integration and testing of fairings, structures and mechanisms for the space, aeronautical and industrial markets. - Development, manufacturing, assembly/integration and testing of instruments and scientific experiments (mainly μg-experiments for space applications).

RUAG Space employees in 2015 were 1204 and its turnover 310 MCHF.

RUAG Space Switzerland Nyon (RSSN), is one of the five Business Unit of RUAG Space Switzerland. It has experience in space programs since 1975 and has proven its capabilities in numerous projects. RSSN is a project oriented company, specialized in the design, manufacture, assembly and test of high quality mechanical and electromechanical equipment for the space and defense industries. Number of employees in 2015 were 72.

RSSN performs feasibility studies, thermal and mechanical analysis, detailed design, hardware development, manufacture, integration and testing, all these activities in full compliance with the Company’s ISO 9001 V2013 Quality Certification.

In the HV-EPSA Project, RSSN will :
  • Present the various existing electronic conversion topologies with their advantages and drawbacks regarding the SRA in SADM in view of selecting the most suitable electrical architecture(s) for high voltage operation. Considering the specific tri-port converter topology, it will be also evaluated the suitability of contactless rotating transfer technology at SADM level.
  • Design, material procurement and manufacturing of breadboards and representative electromechanical samples addressed to the test. Onera and EPFL laboratories will also use breadboards manufactured by RSSN. These BBM will be defined during the activity in close collaboration with the concerned partners and based on the specific needs for relevant test campaigns.
  • Conduct the evaluation in a thermal-vacuum chamber of the arc mitigation system designed in the frame of WP2 activities by the EPFL.

ONERA (Office national d'études et de recherches aérospatiales)

Onera is the French Aerospace Organisation. Onera’s core business is application-oriented research for the French government and the aerospace industry.

The Space Environment Department (DESP) of Onera has a staff of 30 people, entirely devoted to the study of space environment and its effects on spacecraft. It has in particular been involved in studying the interactions of spacecraft with plasma and charged particles since its creation in 1967. DESP expertise indeed covers all fields of the interaction of plasma with spacecraft.

Since the seventies ONERA had a strong activity in understanding, predicting and preventing spacecraft charging issues in GEO. This included charging, ESD triggering conditions, interpretation of in-flight anomalies. The interactions of spacecraft with denser plasmas, such as the ionospheric plasma encountered in LEO, were then thoroughly studied at Onera-DESP since the eighties.

The role of the team is to test equipment developed in the frame of this project such as solar array coupons and slip-ring in high voltage conditions and ambient propulsion plasma. For this purpose, the usual test setup will be improved, including the development of an adapted solar array simulator, to take into account the high voltage conditions and a parametric study will be performed to evaluate the specific conditions of arcing due to the presence of the dense plasma arising from the thruster plume.


SITAEL is the largest Italian privately-owned Company operating in the Aerospace Sector. It belongs to Angelo Investments holding, a worldwide leading Group with more than 1000 highly skilled employees, composed by successful high-tech companies strongly involved in Transportation and Aerospace markets.

Counting on 300 employees and state-of-the-art facilities, SITAEL covers a wide range of activities: Design, Development and Production of Microsatellites, Advanced electric and chemical propulsion, Earth Observation and Science payloads, Platform and Payload Avionics from equipment down to complex component level.

SITAEL facilities are located in four sites in Italy where all the design, development and production activities are distributed for the company integrated operation. The Headquarter in Apulia - Mola di Bari (BA) is the main production factory and centre of operations, while the two Plants in Tuscany – Pisa (PI) are devoted mainly to space propulsion, avionics and microelectronics activities and the Plant in Emilia Romagna – Forlì (FC) is focused mainly on Microsatellites. A new subsidiary has been recently established in Greece and two new ones are going to be based in France and UK.

SITAEL Propulsion activities have a long history since the early 70s and include development, manufacture and commercialization of advanced space propulsion systems, test services for aerospace systems, numerical simulations, engineering and studies on a variety of aerospace subjects.

SITAEL role in HV-EPSA will be mainly to provide the Consortium with expertise and know-how on plasma propulsion subsystems, and on effects of plasma plume interactions with the spacecraft.

Ecole Polytechnique Federale, Lausanne, Swiss Plasma Center:

The Swiss Plasma Center (SPC) is a research institute which is part of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale, Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. It is the Swiss centre for basic and fusion plasma physcis since 1960, and has expertise in industrial plasma applications since 1989. The laboratories are fully equipped with vacuum, mechanical, electronics and high voltage electrical workshops, with long experience of plasma diagnostics. Experimental and theoretical plasma physics are studied in close collaboration, with renowned expertise in numerical simulation. SPC regularly participates in medium- and short-term projects with various industries, including RUAG Space.

The role of EPFL into the project is the following:
  • Establish the key parameters entering in the gas discharge breakdown and the deep vacuum breakdown in slip-rings.
  • Identify a methodology to suppress the breakdown risks over the entire pressure range encountered in the different phases of the satellite life, from the launching to its operation in orbit.
  • Modeling and simulations of the vacuum breakdown phenomena. Tests on elementary slip-rings in representative environments over entire pressure range from ambient to deep vacuum in presence of different gases.

Ionix Systems

Ionix Systems (part of the Amphenol Corporation) is a specialist designer and manufacturer of wiring harness systems, providing interconnection solutions for aerospace, defence, power generation and other high-performance engineering sectors.

Working in close partnership with customers and, utilising its design capability, Ionix can custom-design total system interconnection solutions which meet customers required performance and quality requirements.

Our UK head office and manufacturing facility is based near Manchester in the UK. In addition, we have an offshore low cost site based in Estonia best placing Ionix to deliver lower cost manufacturing operations.

Ionix Systems has over 60 years of experience, with a highly skilled workforce of approximately 240 people across 2 manufacturing sites.

Ionix Systems has an excellent customer and product portfolio and are able to offer a full lifecycle service from development and testing through to production and in-service support.

During the HV-EPSA project Ionix Systems will provide expertise on electrical interconnect systems to support the aims of the project.