Conclusions

The initial investigation we performed on the state of the art of microsystems for aerospace application has given a clear indication of the opportunity to develop a micropropulsion system due to the complete absence of such subsystem available and ready for use for micro and nanosatellites (Manzoni 2003). Such indication is confirmed by the several similar activities ongoing worldwide under funding of the main space agencies. We can conclude that most of the devices necessary to realise a micropropulsion system for attitude control of miniaturised spacecrafts are under study and are available for experimental mission. Such missions are in the planning programs of some space agency and will show results in the immediate future that will help to select the more efficient and reliable technologies which will enable a future commercial and strategic use of miniaturised spacecrafts. Nevertheless, the complete development of micropropulsion system requires additional research work. Such additional directions have been collected in a strategic view in the Road-Map of Micropropulsion which has been endorsed by the European Space Agency and constitute the backbone of the Harmonisation and Funding Program of ESA (Lang 2002).

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