Davina Di Cara

Davina Di Cara
European Space Agency | ESA · European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)

About

22
Publications
6,289
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154
Citations
Citations since 2016
6 Research Items
107 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220510152025
Introduction
Davina Di Cara currently works as Electric Propulsion Engineer at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), European Space Agency.
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna project (LISA) is a co-operative program between ESA and NASA to detect gravitational waves by measuring distortions in the space–time fabric. LISA Pathfinder is the precursor mission to LISA designed to validate the core technologies intended for LISA. One of the enabling technologies is the micro-propulsion...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Electric Propulsion is a very attractive way to save thousands of kilos in orbit transfer for telecommunication satellites, furthermore can bring hughe spacecrafts at different planets.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Space mission planners have always tried to reduce the amount of propellant required to bring the spacecraft to the final orbit and reach the required lifetime. Electric propulsion can help them to achieve this goal due to the high specific impulse and in many cases brings huge benefits as in the case of orbit raising manoeuvres for GEO telecommuni...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Space propulsion systems undergo thorough ground testing before being deployed in space. We report the results of a functional verification and performance characterisation test campaign of an integrated electric propulsion system for cubesats and microsats with purely electric thrust vectoring capability and no moving parts. Visualisations of the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the last decades, CubeSats have been influencing considerably the space market that is changing towards a "New Space Economy". The main drivers of this new trend respond to 1) reduced cost to access space and 2) versatility of the platforms with respect to traditional satellites. Other key aspects are the opportunity of reducing manufacturing...
Article
In this paper, the main results concerning the preparatory studies of a future ESA Earth Observation gravity mission are presented: the mission will be ultimately devoted to improve our understanding of the Earth's mass transport phenomena, the temporal variations of the gravity field, at different temporal and spatial scales, being caused by ice s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Electric Propulsion (EP) is a class of space propulsion technologies that make use of electrical power to accelerate a propellant by means of electro-thermal, electro-static or electro-magnetic processes. There are many figures of merit to assess propulsion performances, but spacecraft engineers primarily use Thrust and Specific Impulse (Isp). Whi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper the main results concerning the preparatory studies of a future ESA Earth Observation gravity mission are presented: the mission will be ultimately devoted to improve our understanding of the Earth's mass transport phenomena, the temporal variations of the gravity field, at different temporal and spatial scales, being caused by mass c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Space debris is a growing concern, pushing worldwide space users to commit more strongly to deorbiting unused platforms at the end of life. Recent advances in the area of the Electric Solar Wind Sail propulsion have introduced the concept of electrostatic plasma brake, mostly aimed for deorbiting small satellites weighing up to 100 kg. The operatin...
Chapter
In the first decade of XXI century, European Space Agency (ESA) has extensively promoted studies in order to establish scientific requirements, identify the most appropriate measurement techniques, start the associated technology developments, and define the system scenarios for a Next Generation Gravity Mission (in brief, NGGM). Such a mission wil...
Article
Full-text available
This paper contains the preliminary ideas on how to design an Earth Observation mission called PROMETEO (electrical PROpulsion for drag coMpEnsaTion and Earth Observation), that is based on a LEO microsatellite embarking a pan sharpened camera and an electrical propulsion Subsystem (S/S). The use of Electric Propulsion on Earth Observation applicat...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been a large increase in the number of small satellites being designed, built and launched. Due to resource constraints, these spacecraft have not generally included any propulsion capability, and this has severely limited mission capabilities and lifetime. To enhance their performances, next generation of small spacecraf...
Conference Paper
Many of ESA’s and NASA’s future missions are based on Formation flying, Fine attitude control and (fine) Drag compensation. As prominent examples one could mention LISA, DARWIN, PROBA-III, etc. For all these applications there is a need for propulsion system with: - High thrust accuracy and - High thrust controllability Taking into account, that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper summarizes the results of the RAM-EP system concept study. The study involved the investigation of the feasibility of using electric propulsion together with gas collected from the atmosphere to provide thrust to counteract the S/C altitude decay caused by drag. This is in order to allow orbit altitude control with a defined thrust profi...
Conference Paper
RIT-µX is a radio frequency ion engine for micro propulsion applications. The ionization of the propellant by electro magnetic fields offers inherently highest thrust control, -stability and resolution. The function principle of the engine and the specific advantages are explained and the layout of a propulsion system is presented. Potential missio...

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