Electric Propulsion Innovation & Competitiveness: EPIC project
The “Electric Propulsion Innovation & Competitiveness” (EPIC) is the PSA project of for the Horizon 2020 Electric Propulsion Strategic Research Cluster (SRC).
Electric propulsion: a strategic technology for Europe
Electric propulsion has been identified by European actors as a strategic technology for improving the European competitiveness in different space areas such as in-space operations and transportation. The European Commission has set up the “In-space Electrical Propulsion and Station-Keeping” Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) in Horizon 2020 with the goal of enabling major advances in Electric Propulsion for in-space operations and transportation, in order to contribute to guarantee the leadership of European capabilities in electric propulsion at world level within the 2020-2030 timeframe, always in coherence with the existing and planned developments at national, commercial and ESA level.
The SRC set-up was initiated in the2014 H2020 Space Work Programme (COMPET-3-2014) with the funding of the EPIC PSA, which has the mandate to, mainly, design the SRC, monitor its evolution and support the Commission on its implementation.
a) Production of a road map
The Electric Propulsion Innovation& Competitiveness(EPIC) project aims, between others, to provide a clear integrated road map of activities and a master plan for its coordination and implementation through the Strategic Research Cluster(SRC) on “In-space Electrical Propulsion and Station-Keeping”. The produced SRC roadmap, when implemented through the operational grants of the SRC and coordinated by the EPIC PSA, intends to to substantially increase the Technology Readiness Level(TRL) of the related EP technologies and achieve the main goal of the SRC, defined to contribute to guarantee the leadership of European capabilities in electric propulsion at world level within the2020-2030 timeframe, always in coherence with the existing and planned developments at national, commercial and ESA level.
b) Advice and support to the European Commission
EPIC is also tasked to provide advice and support to the European Commission on the calls for the SRC operational grants, including call texts, technical annexes and further work programme-related documentation, and to assess the evolution and results of those operational grants with respect to the overall SRC roadmap.
- The collection and consolidation of requirements for future EP thruster subsystems and missions from European stakeholders and Large System Integrators,
- The survey of available European (and non-European) EP technology and its TRL,
- The identification and definition of all the activities required to address the challenge of this topic,
- The draft text for the calls intended to fund the SRC operational grants,
- The fully detailed master plan (EPIC Roadmap) to coordinate all the activities for the whole duration of the SRC,
- The analysis and evaluation of the results during the execution of the activities within the SRC,
- A plan for the specific exploitation and potential use of the SRC expected outputs,
- And a risk assessment and contingency analysis for the SRC,