Collaborations and Funding
Currently, our research is receiving its major support from the European Commission through the ASPIRE (Advanced Space Propulsion for Innovative Realization of space Exploration) project. ASPIRE is a large-scale H2020 project, bringing together several leading academic and industrial partners. It is kicked-off in January 2021 and is supposed to finish in June 2023. ASPIRE is coordinated by SITAEL SpA in Italy, and IPPL is the work package leader for plasma simulation and analysis, ultimately aiming at the development of an alternative qualification strategy based on AI-enhanced numerical tools.
Furthermore, our investigations into the use of water for electric propulsion as a cost-effective alternative propellant, and the development of Water Electrolysis Hall Effect Thruster (WET-HET) designed and optimized to work specifically with water is being supported by European Space Agency (ESA). ESA has additionally supported our development of a novel micro-Newton level thrust balance.