RAFAEL designs, develops and manufactures Cold Gas Propulsion Systems for space applications.
RAFAEL was subcontracted by NLR to develop and manufacture the cold gas reaction control system for the Dutch SloshSat micro-satellite. The satellite was designed for ejection from a NASA's Space Shuttle. The SloshSat was launched on February 18, 2005, on board Ariane 5.
The Cold Gas RCS included four spherical carbon/epoxy-overlapped stainless steel tanks of a "leak before burst" design storing 1.6 kg of gaseous nitrogen propellant at 473 bars corresponding to 20°. Each tank is equipped with an accessories assembly that includes a "self-seal" design pyrovalve and a filter. The cold-gas propellant is supplied to twelve 0.8-N thrusters at a steady regulated pressure. Before reaching the thrusters, the gas passes through a surge damper, a two-stage pressure regulating assembly and a latch valve.
For safety and redundancy, two relief valves are mounted downstream of the regulators. Thruster opening and closing response time are less than 5 ms. Delivered specific impulse of 70 s in vacuum was demonstrated.