Marotta Controls’ patented high performance miniature Multi-Function Valve (MFV) is now available as an ITAR-Free key component for satellite electric propulsion systems.
The unique patented MFV has been specially engineered for the demands of today’s satellite electric propulsion systems. This flight-qualified (TRL9) component provides several functions in a single component, acting as a pressure regulator, flow regulator, and/or a positive isolation valve. Its multi-functionality and exclusive design has the potential to significantly reduce the number components in a Xenon feed system when compared with traditional regulation systems. This enables the user to reduce costs, mass, envelope and overall system complexity while increasing performance, reliability and mission flexibility.
As part of the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission, Marotta’s MFV provided the precise and dynamic control of Xenon to the electric ion thruster to continuously adapt the thrust level to compensate for any drag from the upper atmosphere due to GOCE’s extremely low orbit. The precise control provided by the MFV also enabled the optimisation of fuel usage, which contributed to the planned 20-month mission extending to 55 months.
The MFV is similar in construction to a normally closed solenoid valve; however, it uses the unique physical properties of magnetostrictive materials as the actuation mechanism to modulate the valve between open and closed positions.