Described in CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) paper presented at the Conference Space Propulsion 2018.

At the Conference Space Propulsion 2018 (Sevilla, Spain 14-18 May 2018) CIRA presented a paper titled: "Activities on Electric Space Propulsion at Italian Aerospace Research Centre: main achievements and outlook" where our space simulator, called MSVC (Medium Scale Vacuum Chamber) is described in detail.

ACS realized the preliminary design of the space simulator for CIRA in April 2016, while the final phase was accomplished in May 2017 at our Massa Martana plant. From November 2017 the manufacturing phase has started and is currently on-going. The delivery and installation of the simulator at CIRA premises is foreseen in June 2018.

"Electric Propulsion (EP) is considered a key technology for applications in present and future space missions... The present paper gives an overview of CIRA development plan on EP with the first achieved goals... The plan starts with the realization of two facilities, oriented to low (MSVC, < 5 kW) and high-power thrusters (LSVC, >25 kW), considering Hall Effect based motors as the reference technology in the early phase. All the facilities will be provided with advanced diagnostics, taking advantage of CIRA knowhow, applied to other fields..." (taken from the abstract)

The MSVC consists of a single body vacuum chamber made of stainless steel, 2.0 m in diameter and a length of about 4.5 m. The chamber is able to accommodate the thruster on the thrust stand with its electrical and gas feeding subsystems - to allow a free expansion of the plume reducing the interactions with chamber walls - and the main pumping system.

We are proud to quote from CIRA's acknowledgments: "Moreover, we would like to express our gratitude to all the ATT personnel, involved in MSVC design and manufacturing phases for their precious cooperation."