Electric in-space propulsion manufacturer Neumann Space has signed a contract with European microsatellite manufacturer Space Inventor which could see its drive system demonstrated in orbit in 2024.
Space Inventor will provide Adelaide-based Neumann Space with the opportunity to integrate its next generation Neumann Drive as an IOD payload on board a 6U EDISON Satellite scheduled for launch in the second half of 2024.
The Neumann Drive’s propulsion technology uses solid metallic propellant, with its first flight scheduled for this month, supporting its commercialisation endeavour.
Neumann Space and Australian satellite manufacturer Inovor Technologies have already integrated the Neumann Drive electric propulsion system with Inovor’s Apogee satellite platform ready for spacecraft integration and launch.
Now Neumann and Space Inventor will collaborate to test, demonstrate, and verify ease of integration, ease of operation for the EDISON Mission – part of the European Space Agency’s Pioneer programme, designed to support emerging companies providing new and innovative satellite communications technologies and services.
Space Inventor’s new mission and payload operations will provide Neumann Space with access to the data of the Neumann Drive automatically, enabling it to more rapidly analyse and assess the technology to further its commercialisation approach.
Neumann Space’s CEO Herve Astier said “(This is) our first mission under the European Space Agency umbrella.
“Our programme of in-orbit demonstrations is growing in both size and breadth, with a broad range of Australian and International satellite manufacturers now collaborating with us to test and refine the Neumann Drive’s performance as we together seek to deliver better mobility in space.”
CEO of Space Inventor Karl Kaas first met the Neumann team at a SmallSat conference in 2022.
Kaas said: “Their choice of technology and deep technical knowledge convinced me that this company and its people would succeed – succeed in turning the science into a product and succeed in bringing the product to a market starving for a reliable thruster for small satellites.”
Inovor and Neumann combine for in-space satellite propulsion