If you wish to effectively go in very Low Earth Orbit

you must get rid of onboard propellant

and exploit what you have around you: atmosphere!

Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO, from 160 to 250 km from Earth) are extremely interesting for Earth Observation and null-lag telecommunication missions, but impose severe limitations to spacecrafts since at these heights atmospheric drag is so high it has to be continuously compensated with positive thrust.

This means the spacecraft has to always turn on its propulsion system, which in turn means a lot of propellant onboard.

You finish the propellant, you deorbit: it’s a matter of days.

AETHER wants to exploit the atmosphere by collecting the molecules and accelerating them to counteract drag, so to allow a VLEO mission to last months if not years. Without any tank onboard!

Find More about the Aether

The Project

Discover Team

Aether Team
News and Events

Updates from Project

News & EventsPublic Documentation

AETHER dissemination kit almost ready!

As the pandemic seems to reduce its impact on our lives (fingers crossed, indeed), the AETHER team is finalising a dissemination kit to be used…
News & EventsPropulsion

Aether presentation to the webinar “Electric Propulsion & new career opportunities in the space sector in Europe” available!

Missed the November webinar? Don't panic! Here below the Aether presentation from Dr. Tommaso Andreussi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhYSnpzouqQ
Findings & PublicationsNews & Events

New paper published on orbital stability of an Air-breathing Electric Propulsion spacecraft!

Surrey Space Centre - University of Surrey and SITAEL have jointly published an article in Acta Astronautica titled “Air-breathing electric propulsion: Flight envelope identification and…